How the iPhone’s Health App Caught a Man Jailed for Murdering Wife

December 6, 2018, 1:58 PM UTC

Apple’s Health app can help you track your movement throughout the day and see how well you’re reaching your health goals. It can also catch a murderer.

After Mitesh Patel allegedly strangled his 34-year-old wife Jessica Patel in their home, he staged a robbery to make it seem he didn’t do it. But after investigators analyzed the Health app built into Apple’s iOS software on his and his wife’s iPhone, they alleged that he, in fact, committed the crime, according to a Guardian report.

On May 14 this year, after five years of planning her murder, Patel allegedly strangled his wife with a plastic bag. Soon after, he allegedly upended his house to stage a burglary. When police arrived on the scene, Jessica Patel was found dead and the house ransacked.

According to the Guardian, investigators were able to access Patel’s Health app on his iPhone and found that soon after his wife’s death, he was monitored by the app moving frantically around the home to stage the burglary. The iPhone Health app, which tracked his steps, was also tracking movement on his wife’s iPhone. It remained still for several minutes until it recorded 14 steps. According to the investigators, Patel said that a burglar had stolen the iPhone but dropped it outside before they left.

Patel was arrested after investigators analyzed the data. Investigators also found that he had researched strangulation online before he allegedly committed the murder. On Wednesday, he was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison after a jury took just under three hours to render a guilty verdict.

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