The heart rate detected by a connected watch helped to solve a murder in Australia. The data invalidated the testimony of the victim’s daughter-in-law, the main suspect in this case.
While the data collected by digital tools can violate privacy, they can also be used to solve a murder. For example, in Australia, a connected watch solved a murder dating back to 2016 ABC report.
In September 2016, Myrna Nilsson was found dead in her house in Adelaide. Around 10:10 p.m., a neighbor calls the police after Caroline Dela Rose Nilsson, the victim’s daughter-in-law, left the house in a visible panic.
According to the latter, her mother-in-law was followed by men in a van before having an altercation of about 20 minutes with them. They would then have entered the house before killing her.
But this version of the facts has been denied by… a connected watch. “The Apple Watch is fundamental evidence that shows that the defendant’s explanation is false,” said prosecutor Carmen Matteo. The watch recorded the victim’s heart rate, and according to the prosecutor, the data would coincide with shocks and loss of consciousness. “She must have been attacked around 6:38 pm and probably died around 6:45 p. m.”
Schedules that do not match
However, the victim’s daughter-in-law said she gave the alert just after the attack at 10 p.m., more than three hours later. According to the prosecutor, “it’s time to stage… to clean and get rid of bloody clothes”.
Besides, the neighbor had reported that he had never seen a van in front of the house, and DNA tests had not confirmed the presence of others in the victim’s home.
While Caroline Dela Rose Nilsson was a suspect from the beginning, the police were only able to arrest her recently thanks to the connected watch. He was denied bail. The case will be brought before the courts again in June 2019.