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How "Find My Mac" helped track down two murder suspects

Yoni Heisler, @edibleapple
December 1, 2013
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This past July, police in Ann Arbor, Michigan began investigating the shooting death of a 25-year old University of Michigan medical student named Paul DeWolf. Late at night on July 24, DeWolf was shot in the neck in what authorities now believe was a home invasion gone wrong.

From the outset, police investigators looking into the murder had few leads and not much evidence to go on.

But a few weeks ago, investigators caught a break and began zeroing in on two suspects in a story that reads out of a TV detective show.

As it turns out, a Mac laptop was stolen from one of DeWolf's neighbors during the same timeframe that he was shot. Notably, the laptop had the iCloud "Find My Mac" feature turned on.

The Detroit Free Press reports:

Police officials have released few details of their investigation. But a transcript of the hearing obtained by the Free Press shows the case has been a combination of dogged detective work, luck and high-tech sleuthing.

In sworn testimony, Nucci said a computer that belonged to a U-M senior was stolen from the living room in her home in the 200 block of North Ingalls between 10:30 p.m. July 23 and 12:30 a.m. July 24. That's around the same time frame police say they believe DeWolf was killed in the basement of the Phi Rho Sigma house next door.

In the wake of the laptop theft, the laptop owner "directed Apple to contact her if the computer connected to the Internet." According to the report, Apple, on October 3rd, was alerted to the fact that the stolen laptop had been turned on.

From there, local authorities were able to zero in on the notebook's location, ultimately directing them a man who purchased the computer off of Craigslist for $200.

Local authorities were then able to identify the man who sold the stolen laptop, a 20-year-old man named Joei Jordan. Their investigation revealed that Jordan, along with his 25-year-old cousin Shaquille Jones, were both present when the stolen laptop was handed over to the buyer.

Next, Ann Arbor police had both Jordan and Jones in their sights. In early November, Jones was picked up in South Carolina where he was subsequently brought back to Michigan.

On November 22, both Jones and Jordan were arraigned for murder along with other counts stemming from the home invasion next door. There is another suspect in custody but details surrounding his identity haven't yet been made public.

Details as to how authorities firmly connected the burglary to the murder remain somewhat scant, but we imagine more information will emerge in the coming weeks as "preliminary examinations of the evidence" against both suspects will be held in the next two weeks.

In this article: crime, find my mac
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