A 90-year-old California man has been arrested in the murder of his stepdaughter, whose Fitbit apparently aided investigators in identifying her stepfather as a suspect, officials said.
Karen Navarra was found dead in her San Jose home by officers responding to a welfare check on Sept. 13, San Jose police said.
Navarra, 67, had suffered a large laceration on her neck and a deep laceration on her head, according to the statements of facts written by police and provided by the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office to ABC News.
She also was reportedly holding a knife in her hand, but a medical examiner determined Navarra couldn’t have caused all the wounds she sustained, leading investigators to believe the scene was staged to appear as a suicide.
Police spoke with the husband of Navarra’s mother, her stepfather Anthony Aiello, who allegedly said he had last seen his stepdaughter Sept. 8.
Cops said he told them he brought Navarra pizza and biscotti to her home and stayed for about 15 minutes before driving home, the document said.
Aiello allegedly told police he later saw his stepdaughter drive by his home with a second person in the passenger seat, but officials said recovered surveillance footage from near Aiello’s home showed the victim had never driven by that day.
Navarra was wearing a Fitbit Alta HR when she was found. Investigators checked the data logged by the fitness device and found it showed a significant spike in her heart rate at 3:20 p.m. Sept. 8 before rapidly slowing, ABC News reported.
The Fitbit reportedly stopped registering Navarra’s heart rate data at 3:28 p.m.
Aiello’s car was parked in his stepdaughter’s driveway from 3:12 p.m. to at least 3:33 p.m., surveillance video near Navarra’s home reportedly showed.
Police also allegedly found blood splatter in Aiello’s garage, but he denied having anything to do with his stepdaughter’s death.
Aiello "denied that he was present when she was killed and suggested that someone else might have been in the house," the document said, according to ABC News.
A motive for the alleged killing was not immediately clear.
Aiello was arrested Sept. 25 and booked into Santa Clara County Jail for murder, where he was being held without bail as of Wednesday, online records show.
His next scheduled court appearance is Thursday.