Digital Forensics Dispatch

Digital Forensics Blog
by Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Text Messages Retrieved from Murder Suspect’s Phone

September 22, 2022

Angela Bonilla of KWTX 10 recently reported on the arrest of Ian St. Joseph-Valderrama on a murder charge. St. Joseph-Valderrama has been accused of killing his roommate during an argument the two had which resulted in St. Joseph-Valderrama shooting his roommate Steven in the face with a shotgun.

Investigators performed a search of St. Joseph-Valderrama’s mobile phone where they discovered text messages about the murder of Steven. Police were able to view messages that were sent to the suspect’s mother and an unidentified woman. The messages obtained by Bonilla and KWTX 10 read:

  • “Mom you need to text Stephen that he’s no longer welcome here or I’m going to f****** shoot him.”
  • “I don’t want him here anymore because all he’s going to do is piss me off to the point where I either f****** stab him, shoot him or hurt him very badly.”
  • “I’m going to jail”
  • “I just f****** shot Steve in the face”
  • “I’m so sorry babe. I didn’t mean to”

Text messages are an extremely common source of evidence in all types of cases. Through the use of mobile forensics, messages from a mobile device such as a cellphone can be preserved, analyzed and searched. In some cases, even deleted messages may be recovered.

There’s a lot of data that can be gleaned from the analysis of a cellphone. It will be interesting to see if there’s any additional evidence found on the suspect’s mobile phone that relates to the fact scenario in the murder case. Currently, Mr. St. Joseph-Valderrama is being held at the Bell County (TX) Jail on a $1 million bond.

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