Digital Forensics Dispatch

Digital Forensics Blog
by Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Cell Phone Location Data Leveraged in Murder Investigation

September 16, 2021

A recent article in the Lexington Clipper-Herald highlighted the detail of location and activity data that can potentially be gleaned from mobile phones. The article focuses on the case against Francisco Hernandez-Corona who has been charged with first degree murder and use of a firearm to commit a felony.

At approximately 2AM on July 6th police were called to the 800 block of West Ninth Street in Lexington because of reports of possible gunshots. The responding officers initially did not find anything they believed to be related to the shots but did come across Hernandez-Corona and another 19-year-old man, Adalberto Saenz-Gonzalez, in a parked vehicle about two blocks away. The pair were reportedly intoxicated and in possession of alcohol. They were arrested for suspicion of being minors in possession of alcohol and booked in the county jail. Saenz-Gonzalez had an iPhone that was seized at the time of his arrest.

At about 3 a.m. the body of 23-year-old Marcus Keyser was located face down with a gunshot wound to his head on the 800 block of West Ninth Street. Keyser also had an iPhone on him at the time. A review of the location data on both Keyser and Saenz-Gonzalez’s phones indicated that they would have crossed paths at a local store around 1:30 that evening. Security footage from the store confirmed that all three men had an encounter there.

Data from a health tracking application on Keyser’s phone was recovered that showed all activity stopped at 1:44 AM after he made his way from the store to where his body was discovered. Location data from Saenz-Gonzalez’s phone shows it was at approximately the same spot at 1:46 AM. Based on the article, it appears the prosecutors are relying very heavily on the results of the cell phone examinations in this matter. 

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