Pool photo by Mark Mirko ByCHRISTINEHAUSER April 27, 2017 The woman shot dead in the basement of her suburban Connecticut home had struggled with an intruder, her husband told the police just before Christmas in 2015. But over time, the story fell apart as investigators began to rely on a silent witness a Fitbit exercise tracker that recorded the womans last movements and may be the key to whole life insurance in calgary alberta solving her murder. The case that began at the house of Richard and Connie Dabate in Ellington, a town of about 15,000 people north of Hartford, and unfolded over the last year highlights the latest example of how exercise devices have become increasingly part of investigators tool kits. Fastened to the body, the exercise devices have a unique proximity as witnesses. They transmit heartbeats, sleep schedules, locations and distances, documenting their hosts life events, from innocent mishaps to criminal encounters. A Fitbit factored into a Pennsylvania sexual assault case in 2015 and a personal injury case in Canada in 2014. A Garmin Vivosmart GPS recorded a young womans struggle with an attacker in a Seattle park in March. The devices are incorporated alongside the more conventional use of searches of sniffer dogs and gunshot residue tests, both of which came up inconclusive in the Dabate case. When Connecticut police arrived at the home on the morning of Dec. 23, 2015, Mr. Dabate spoke of a violent struggle with a masked intruder who zip-tied him to a chair, demanded his wallet and credit cards, cut him with a knife and then fatally shot his wife in the basement, according to an arrest warrant.
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