Location on Smartphone — Private Investigator in Indianapolis, IN

DeVon’s criminal defense attorney called us and explained that the police had an “airtight” case against his client for multiple felony charges. DeVon’s aunt was footing the legal bill and told him she didn’t care about the cost as she believed her young nephew was innocent of the charges.


The attorney was fresh out of law school and was a sole practitioner and pretty green.


Apparently, DeVon was seen by two witnesses breaking into an elderly couple’s home in a ritzy neighborhood and carrying out a large trash bag, ostensibly with stolen items and dumping them into his car. They didn’t get the license plate number but did obtain a general description of the car. DeVon was later stopped by the police who found an empty trash bag in his trunk but no stolen items. When questioned by the police he would not provide an alibi for his whereabouts during the burglary. The intimidation by the police made him provide inconsistent answers during the interrogation. He was then placed in a “lineup” and the two witnesses positively identified him. He then confessed, but under duress, because he did not want to reveal his “alibi” because he was having an intimate relationship with the daughter of his church’s minister.


When we learned he always carried a smartphone his attorney asked if the police confiscated the cellphone but they had not since they had an airtight case. We suggested forensic data analysis be conducted by our cellular phone forensics lab and conduct a cell tower triangulation examination to identify where his cellphone was during the time of the burglary.


The attorney petitioned the court to mandate the cellphone carrier to provide the location of the phone through the archived cellphone tower triangulation records. Our mobile phone forensics examiner analyzed the records and found that DeVon’s cellphone location was, in fact, over 18 miles from the burglary scene for 4 hours prior and 2 hours after. The attorney provided our cell phone lab’s cell tower triangulation findings to the prosecutor who promptly dismissed the charges. As far as we know, the minister was never the wiser about his daughter’s dalliance.


~Tim Wilcox, CEO, International Investigators, Inc.