Homicide

Fitbit logs wife's steps after husband says she died, police say

Connecticut man Richard Dabate, who is charged with killing his wife Connie, claimed she was murdered by an intruder at a specific time in 2015. But now her Fitbit records are contradicting his alibi

 

A dead woman's Fitbit pokes a hole in her husband's odd alibi and may help prove the man killed his wife, Connecticut cops said, as new details in the case emerged over the weekend.

Richard Dabate, 40, faces charges including murder, tampering with evidence and making a false statement in the December 2015 shooting death of 39-year-old Connie Dabate.

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Dabate, recently released on bond, maintains his innocence. He's claimed an intruder shot his wife before trying to subdue Dabate. But Dabate said he was able to fight back, ultimately burning the intruder with a torch before alerting investigators as the man escaped.

But detectives found no signs of a struggle or forced entry, and police dogs didn't detect another person's scent. An email Dabate said he sent from his car was actually sent from his home laptop, further causing investigators to question his story.

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What's more, details from the Fitbit worn by his wife showed that the murder took place an hour after Dabate said it did. Dabate also claimed his wife had just walked in from the garage when the intruder shot her; however, Fitbit records indicate she journeyed 1,200 feet around her home before the device stopped registering movement at 10:05 a.m., according to extensive details disclosed by The Hartford Courant.

"To say it is rare to use Fitbit records would be safe," Lancaster County, Pa., District Attorney Craig Stedman told The Courant. "It is an electronic footprint that tracks your movements. It 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."

Richard and Connie had a troubled marriage marked by money problems, as the husband admitted he had an affair with a woman and got her pregnant, the newspaper reported. He allegedly told the woman he and his wife were divorcing; however, Connie apparently did not tell anyone about an impending split.

The month after the murder, Richard withdrew $90,000 from an account in Connie's name, following a failed attempt to cash in her $475,000 life insurance policy just five days after she was killed, the Courant added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.