A husband accused of murdering his wife was charged after police downloaded information from her FitBit to track her final moments.
Richard Dabate, 40, claimed a man who sounded like Vin Diesel had broke into his house, tied him up and shot dead his wife Connie on December 23, 2015.
Connie Dabate was found dead at their home in Connecticut by police.
As police investigated the case, they discovered that Dabate had been having an affair with a woman he knew since childhood who became pregnant and wanted him to leave his wife.
In text messages, he told his lover that he and his wife were ‘on the same page’ for an divorce.
However, weeks before the murder, the Hartford Courant found messages between Debate and his wife. One in November 2015 – a month before the murder – read: ‘I’m ready for u big boy.’
An electronic trawl through the couple’s lives found a file on his wife’s phone dated December 2014, ‘Why I want a divorce.’
Police records show Dabate had obtained a secret card from which he spent $1,200 at a strip club and stays at a local hotel.
He also used the credit card to pay for flowers for his girlfriend.
The records on Connie’s FitBit showed she had been moving more than an hour after Dabate claimed she had been murdered by an intruder.
According to district attorney Craig Stedman: ‘To say it is rare to use FitBit records would be safe. It is an electronic footprint that tracks your movements.
It is a great tool for investigators to use. We can also get the information much faster than some other types of evidence such as DNA tests.’
Police studied CCTV footage from the gym and saw Connie leaving at 9.18am. Her FitBit was idle for nine minutes as she drove home.
She then posted two videos to Facebook using her cellphone.
At 10.05, her FitBit stopped moving after she traveled 1,217 feet inside her home.
At 10.11 the alarm went off at their home and at 10.16 the alarm company rang the state police.
At 10.20, Dabate called 911 to report the murder. He told police his wife had been killed an hour earlier, however detectives believe the CCTV footage from the gym, data on Connie’s FitBit and her Facebook posts prove otherwise.
He was found by police tied to a chair on the kitchen floor, and said the masked home invader had shot his wife dead in the garage during a chase through their home.
Dabate claimed he was tied to the chair after the man had murdered his wife, but scared the intruder off by kicking a blowtorch at his head.