An iPhone was an essential witness in the apprehension of the man responsible for a grisly murder, with location information tracked using cellphone towers leading police to the killer.

Attorney Melissa Lewis was strangled inside her garage. At first, police in South Florida thought it was a random attack, but later determined that the victim’s iPhone was missing. Working with AT&T, they tracked data relayed from the missing phone to cellphone towers in the area – and that data led them to the killer, Tony Villegas.

Villegas was the estranged husband of the victim’s best friend, Debra Villegas. The couple separated because the husband was jealous of the success of his wife and had threatened her with violence, leading to the split. The victim had been helping Debra draft a will designed to protect her children in the event her estranged husband committed an act of violence against her.

The murderer has been indicted for first-degree murder, and faces the death penalty. 


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