In the midst of their custody battle, both Jill and Henry blamed each other for the breakdown of the marriage. Neither would agree to move out of the marital residence and neither wanted to spend less time with their kids.
Our objective was not to decide who was at fault, but who would be the better parent to be awarded custodial custody. It was quite obvious joint custody for these two was out of the question. There was entirely too much animosity between them. There were implications of a cheating spouse, marital infidelity, hidden cameras, GPS Tracking Systems, eavesdropping devices and audio or video surveillance equipment being installed in the marital residence and personal vehicles. The only common ground this couple shared were their two children, ages 6 and 8, and their agreement for a guardian ad litem.
We received a call from Jill’s attorney with a summation of the accusations and the current situation between her and her husband. It was a nasty situation and the children were being pulled in both directions; neither Jill or Henry were considering the welfare of their kids and this happens in many divorce/custody cases where one side or the other must prove guilt on the other party. The attorney engaged our services in fact finding. Not only was he concerned with what Henry was or was not doing, he had concerns regarding Jill and her actions.
We scheduled a TSCM (Technical Surveillance Countermeasures) of the marital residence using counter-surveillance equipment to locate and identify listening devices, covert cameras and any other types of equipment that would have the capability to observe activity and/or the ability to hear communications. Within the first hour, we located a cell phone charger with a built in motion activated camera that had been plugged into an electrical outlet in the entryway. Upon further inspection of the device, we observed that it had a 32GB SD card that could record for up to 20 hours of activity.
Fortunately for us, the device still had the model and SN tag so we could track the manufacturer and possibly the seller/buyer. Upon completion of the TSCM, our computer forensic investigator conducted a computer forensic examination and analyzed Jill’s desktop computer. As always, knowing our findings would be utilized in the courts, we forensically imaged the hard drive and all analysis was conducted utilizing the image. The computer forensic specialist determined there was a key-catcher installed on the computer that records keystrokes but did not allow access to the computer.
Jill had made comments that conversations with her attorney and friends were brought up in heated discussions with Henry and she requested cellular forensics be conducted on her cellular device. Mobile phone forensic analysis is conducted the same way as computer forensics; the device is forensically imaged and the analysis is conducted from the image, not the device. We did not find any type of malicious malware or spyware application installed and the phone had the original IOS.
From our findings, Jill and Henry’s attorneys both agreed the couple would benefit from attending mediation and counseling. It was not determined who installed the cellphone charger covert camera or the key-catcher; both denied being the guilty party. We did learn months later from Jill’s attorney that the two are working on their relationship through continued counseling, as they witnessed first-hand the stressful environment they created for their children.
- C. Tim Wilcox, CEO, International Investigators, All In Investigations, Inc.