After Connie Dabate was killed in her Connecticut home, just two days before Christmas 2015, her obituary described her as “beloved wife and best friend of Richard Dabate.”
Fast-forward more than a year later and her “best friend” is the lead suspect charged with his 39-year-old wife’s murder—thanks in part to her Fitbit, according to an arrest warrant reported in the Hartford Courant.
Connie’s Fitbit has become integral in piecing together her murder. Prosecutors say her husband’s alibi that a masked intruder attacked him first and then went after his wife just doesn’t add up. He was arrested on suspicion of murder earlier this month and released on a $1 million bail last week.
Richard told investigators, the killing took place around 9 a.m. But records from Connie’s Fitbit show she was moving inside their Ellington, Connecticut, home around 10:05 a.m. Other online activity also indicates Connie was active in her home around that time. (Mashable reached out to Fitbit, who declined to comment.)
Connie had her Fitbit on for her YMCA spinning class — surveillance footage shows her arriving at the gym parking lot just before 9 a.m. That doesn’t fit with Richard’s account. He says he returned home after dropping off the couple’s two kids around 9 a.m. because the home’s security alarm went off. Once inside, he says he encountered a tall robber rummaging through the closet, who incapacitated Richard before shooting his wife downstairs.
Connie’s murder has plenty of other layers around it involving extramarital affairs, a pregnant mistress and other contradictions within Richard’s timeline. But police say data from the wearable really cast doubt on her husband’s defense.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, district attorney Craig Stedman told the Courant that the device is “a great tool for investigators to use. We can also get the information much faster than some other types of evidence, such as DNA tests.”
This isn’t the first time wearables have been used in a criminal case—and it probably won’t be the last.