Published On: Wed, Oct 3rd, 2018

San Jose police say Fitbit data helped link 90-year-old Tony Aiello to the murder of Karen Navarra

San Jose police used data from a Fitbit device in their case 90-year-old Anthony Aiello, who murdered his stepdaughter, Karen Navarra, and then staged her death to look like a suicide.

Tony Aiello

Police found Navarra, 67, dead at her home on September 13, after a co-worker checked on her when she didn’t arrive to work. Aiello says he visited Navarra to bring her some pizza, only staying for 15 minutes. Navarra, a pharmacy technician, was described by family as a “recluse.”

Police say video evidence later showed Aiello’s car was at Navarra’s house for a longer period of time, and data from her Fitbit approximates when she might have died. Police said Navarra was found slumped over in a chair, clutching a large kitchen knife with a “gaping” slit to her neck.

To investigators, the scene appeared to be staged to look like a suicide.

The police statement said data from the device, which includes heart-monitoring technology, showed a significant spike in Navarra’s heart rate, followed by a rapid slowdown.

“During the interview, Aiello was confronted about the information from Fitbit and the corresponding surveillance video indicating that his car was in the driveway,” the document said. “After explaining the abilities of the Fitbit to record time, physical movement and heart rate data,” investigators told Aiello his stepdaughter had died before he left.

Aiello “denied that he was present when she was killed and suggested that someone else might have been in the house,” the document said.

The senior was arrested on September 25 in San Jose and is facing a murder charge.

This is not the first time Fitbit data has assisted law enforcement in criminal cases. Last year, Richard Dabate was charged in Connecticut with murdering his wife after police use step data from her Fitbit to discredit his claims she was killed by a masked intruder, CNN reported.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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