Fitbit Data Busted 90-Year-Old Man Accused Of Staging Stepdaughter’s Death
Surveillance video showed Karen Navarra’s driveway; police noted Anthony Aiello parked outside his stepdaughter’s house from 3:12 to 3:33 P.M. that day.
SAN JOSE, CA — A Fitbit registering heart-rate data led police to arrest a 90-year-old man who is now accused of killing his stepdaughter and staging her death to look like a suicide.
According to ABC News, police conducting a welfare check on 67-year-old Karen Navarra on September 13 found her dead in her home. She had suffered lacerations to her head and neck and was clutching a kitchen knife in her hand.
While at first it appeared Navarra may have taken her own life, detectives began to suspect that someone had staged the scene. In fact, a medical examiner later determined the woman could not have made all the “multiple deep and intrusive wounds” by herself.
Police turned to Navarra’s stepdad, Anthony Aiello, for answers. Aiello claimed he had gone to see the daughter of his 92-year-old wife on September 8 to bring her pizza and biscotti. After about 15 minutes, he said, he left and returned home. He also told detectives that Navarra later drove by his house with someone in her front seat, honked, waved, and continued on her way.
After detectives pulled Aiello’s neighbor's surveillance videos, which showed Navarra was actually not in his area that day, the senior’s story began to fall apart — but it was a Fitbit found strapped to the dead woman's wrist that authorities said helped them crack the case.
Detectives checked the data recorded on Navarra’s Fitbit Alta HR and noticed her heart rate skyrocketed at 3:20 P.M. on September 8. The device showed her heart rate then rapidly declined and completely stopped at 3:28 P.M. Locating surveillance video that showed Navarra’s driveway, police noted Aiello was suspiciously parked outside his stepdaughter’s house from 3:12 P.M. to 3:33 P.M. that day.
"During the interview, Aiello was confronted about the information from Fitbit and the corresponding surveillance video indicating that his car was in the driveway,” officers wrote in a statement of facts. They then accused Aiello of murdering Navarra and fleeing the scene, but he "denied that he was present when she was killed and suggested that someone else might have been in the house."
Two bloody shirts were later located in Aiello’s garage. "He was told that the deposits of blood were not localized in one area and were more consistent with splatter," police claimed in the statement, adding Aiello said he often injured himself around the house. "Aiello indicated that he might have cut his hand and shaken it while he was wearing those shirts.”
Aiello has been charged with murder and ordered held without bail. He is next scheduled to appear in court on October 3.