Apps are typically used for a variety of things, from social media and communication to assistance with daily tasks and games. But what about crime solving? It has recently been revealed through the release of previously classified documents that Snapchat actually helped in a wild Colorado drug murder case from 2016.
The investigation started after a man disappeared in August of that year. While an event connected to his disappearance was recorded by surveillance cameras by his place of residence, it wasn’t until over a week later that his body was discovered in a town over an hour away. Fort Collins police used a warrant to acquire data from the image messaging company after a serendipitous traffic stop and search in another state.
The suspects, who were from Cincinnati, were pulled over in Illinois with a loaded weapon, large amounts of narcotics, and other suspicious evidence linking them to the Colorado crime. The cops were able to connect them to the case through accounts from witnesses with whom they’d detailed their plans to travel out of state with tens of thousands of dollars to buy drugs. But the authorities needed one more piece to solve the puzzle.
Flickr / Thoroughly Reviewed
They weren’t able to find any phone calls or texts between the suspects and the victims, but one quick audio recording led the detectives to Snapchat. Months later a deal was reached, which was complicated by the company’s policies regarding the release of its data. These types of requests aren’t uncommon, apparently they receive hundreds of warrants every month.
Thankfully this case ended with police finding the evidence they needed. Unfortunately, the newly unsealed documents reveal potentially troubling information about Snapchat’s privacy settings when it comes to law enforcement. Check out the video below to watch a report from years ago that discusses this very issue...