Remember when your “Mobile Phone” was in a case as big as a small brief case and each call cost you a couple of dollars per minute and not cents? You were among a very elite if you had a “Mobile Phone” back in the day. Today, it is reported that more than 91% of adults in a survey of over 2,500 people own cell phones. They are replacing landlines, GPS Devices and tablets and many times every member in the family is linked to their own cellular device. A cell phone allows the user to make calls, send text message and emails, surf the web, schedule to wake you up, remind you of appointments and even goggle answers to questions when in a [...]
There is a lot of consternation about the accuracy of forensic cell tower evidence. Over the last several years courts have ruled that evidence submitted by authorities has not been precise or correct and people were wrongfully convicted.
Here at International Investigators, our cellular forensics experts would agree that the accuracy of cellular tower triangulation to determine location of cell phones at a given time is a complex business. There are few cut and dried if-then scenarios.
For one thing, service providers are not consistent in the algorithms and directions for switching customers’ phones from one tower to another. Nor are they too forthcoming in sharing and explaining their processes. That’s one of the reasons professionals have to be knowledgeable and experienced – just to know [...]
When the nearly naked dead body of a 28-year-old male was discovered in a wooded area near a lake, the local sheriff's department requested an autopsy, announced that a large amount of heroin was found in the young man's blood stream and treated the death as a drug overdose. Quickly, the case was closed.
Although the grieving family members were enraged at the actions of local authorities, they gathered to bury the young father of three. But in the weeks following the funeral, they soon discovered that they could not let go of the case. They did not believe the conclusions drawn so quickly by the Sheriff's department. After all, this young man, called Chip by family and close friends, had absolutely no history of [...]
It’s more and more common now to hear comparisons between the use of DNA evidence and cell phone forensic evidence. Here at International Investigators we have seen mobile phone forensics quickly evolve with technology so that cellular location evidence can be pinned down to within a few dozen yards much of the time.
Since we were on the cutting edge of cell phone investigation when it began, our level of expertise is highly sought out by defense attorneys in a wide range of situations including:
Defendant is accused of making harassing calls to ex-spouse
Defendant is accused of a crime and alibi is weak or non-existent
Defendant is accused of embezzlement and money is found stashed in a specific location
Defendant is accused of negotiating the purchase of drugs [...]
Can you image the amount of data collected by the phone companies? Not data on customers, but the data that is created by customers. They can store service records – but for only short periods – and once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Because the service provider data is time sensitive, if an attorney or the authorities need the information for a case, a preservation letter has to be created and sent immediately to all the service providers involved. The preservation letter asks them to save data for a specific account and is urgent before the data is eliminated. The legal wording for cell records and preservation is specific to each service provider and if not complete and accurate, the request could be denied.
The service providers [...]