Apple Watch Data Helps Identify Prime Suspect in a Murder Case

Apple Watch Data Helps Identify Prime Suspect in a Murder Case
  • Apple Watch data has become key evidence in an Australian murder case
  • Prosecutors used victim's Apple Watch heart rate data
  • The data showed a burst of heavy activity before the death

Incidents of saving lives have already made the Apple Watch popular. But now, a murder case filed in Australia used data obtained from an Apple Watch as key evidence, leading to an arrest. Prosecutors used the victim's Apple Watch heart rate data to highlight fabrication in the case.

Myrna Nilsson was murdered in her home in September 2016. According to Daily Mail, it was originally reported by Nilsson's daughter-in-law, Caroline Nilsson, that the 57-year-old was attacked by a group of men "who had forced their way into the property after a road rage incident". But after examining the data by a forensic expert from the Apple Watch worn by the victim, it was found on Thursday that the home invasion scene was fabricated by the witness. Carmen Matteo, the prosecutor in the case, told court that a burst of heavy activity was spotted followed by a period of less activity and soon after which the Watch stopped recording the heart rate of the woman. This proved that an "ambush-type" attack took place consistently instead of any home invasion case. The data was notably narrowed to a seven-minute window - between the time when the attack happened and the victim died.

The fetched data also highlighted how Nilsson falsely claimed that her mother-in-law had argued with the attackers for about 20 minutes before her death as the murder happened in a time frame less than seven minutes. "The prosecution accumulates those timings and the information about energy levels, movement, heart rate, to lead to a conclusion that the deceased must have been attacked at around 6.38 pm and had certainly died by 6.45 pm," the prosecutor said.

On the basis of the evidence emerged from the Apple Watch data, the Australian police arrested Nilsson with murder charges. The daughter-in-law will, however, return to court on June 13 to prove her side.

The latest case comes weeks after an Apple Watch saved lives of a 24-year-old woman and her 9-month-old son in Pennsylvania by calling the ambulance through its built-in SOS feature.


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