Apple Watch proves crucial in solving Australian murder case
In an instance where data from fitness devices has proven crucial in solving criminal cases, the police in Adelaide, Australia, have used the Apple Watch as evidence in an ongoing murder trial. The health data from the Watch has reportedly provided prosecutors with proof regarding the victim's last moments, as they chalked information from its heart rate monitor upto the time leading to death.
In September 2016, 57-year-old Myrna Nilsson was found dead in her home. Her daughter-in-law Caroline Nilsson told the police that a group of men had invaded the home, tied and gagged her, and proceeded to kill her mother-in-law. Caroline added she was only able to emerge from the house right after the attack at 10pm to call help and didn't witness the incident first-hand.
This was refuted by the Apple Watch which the victim was wearing. The device indicated that an attack occurred at 6:38pm and that the victim had "almost certainly" died by 6:45pm. According to the police, the victim first had a sudden burst of heightened activity, then a dramatic drop in activity levels, and finally the Watch's heart rate monitoring system stopped recording a heartbeat.
At the time, unconvinced by Caroline's version, the police had arrested her post a "careful investigation of the matter." Now after an analysis of the victim's Apple Watch, the police has charged her with murder and accused her of fabricating the crime scene. Caroline has been refused bail for the time being, and the matter will return to court in June.
Last year, a man named Richard Dabate in Connecticut was charged with murdering his wife after the Fitbit data of the victim confirmed the allegations. Further, this year, a German man was charged with murder after the fitness data from an iPhone testified against him.