Police turn to Alexa in murder case


In brief: Not for the first time, police are turning to Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa in the hope of solving a murder.

The victim in question was 32-year-old Silvia Galva. Her boyfriend, 43-year-old Reechard Crespo, claims the death was an accident that occurred as the two engaged in a physical altercation. He says the pair were having an argument, and Crespo was trying to drag her off his bed. Galva grabbed a spear with a 12-inch blade in an attempt to stop herself being pulled, but the spear broke and impaled her in her chest. Crespo pulled the blade out in an alleged attempt to save her, but Galva died.

According to the Sun Sentinel, police obtained a search warrant for anything recorded on the two Alexa-powered devices found in the apartment.

“It is believed that evidence of crimes, audio recordings capturing the attack on victim Silvia Crespo that occurred in the main bedroom […] may be found on the server maintained by or for Amazon,” police wrote in their probable cause statement seeking the warrant.

Amazon says its devices don’t record or save any audio unless they hear the “Alexa” wake word, so the chances of finding anything incriminating is probably slim. The company has, however, handed over “multiple recordings,” though neither the firm nor police have revealed what they contain. Hallandale Beach Police Department spokesman Sgt Pedro Abut said the department is “in the process of analysing the information that was sent to us.”

Crespo is currently free on a $65,000 bond.

This isn’t the first time Alexa has been named as a potential murder witness. Last year, a judge told Amazon to hand over Echo recordings to prosecutors in a murder case—one that ended in a mistrial. Another murder case in 2016 also saw police ask for Amazon Echo data. Charges against the suspect in that instance were ultimately dropped.


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