Fitbit fitness tracker helps end widower’s fake grief and bring him to justice in Connecticut murder case
Richard Dabate, of Ellington, Tolland County, charged with felony murder, tampering with physical evidence and making false statements
40-year-old Richard Dabate, accused of killing Connie Dabate in December 2015 death at their Ellington home, in Tolland County, Conn
Connie was discovered inside the home shot with a Magnum Dabate purchased months prior
She was inside the home tied to a chair in the kitchen in the incident
Richard earlier claimed she was the victim of a home invasion
That he scared off the masked killer after his wife was shot dead
Richard Dabate [left] made bail and was released on bond
Dabate, 40, was charged this month with felony murder, tampering with physical evidence and making false statements in the shooting death of his wife Connie in December of 2015 at their home in Ellington, Tolland County, Conn.
The arrest warrant states that Dabate had called 911 with a report that his wife had been killed in a home invasion. He claimed she was shot dead by a “tall, obese man” with a deep voice like actor Vin Diesel’s, sporting “camouflage and a mask” .
However, the trackr later showed investigators that the victim’s her death took place more than an hour before he claimed. CCTV footage also showed her visiting a local gym the morning she died.
Investigators also uncovered the text messages between the couple, as well as the suspect and his reported pregnant mistress, thought to be a main motive behind the suspected domestic homicide.
One year before the murder, Dabate texted his wife saying, “I want a divorce,” around the time bank statement records obtained by the Hartford Courant showed credit card charges from hotels, strip clubs and floral purchases for his girlfriend.
Text messages between Dabate and the unidentified woman obtained by the Hartford Courant read things like, “I’m ready for u big boy.”
Connie was discovered inside the home with gunshot wounds from a Magnum .357, a gun Dabate purchased months prior, while Dabate was found by police tied to a chair in the kitchen in the incident, when he claimed to have scared off the masked killer after his wife was shot dead.
Interviews with those close with the couple reveal that few were aware of the strains in their marriage. To all intents and purposes the Dabates had a loving relationship marked by arguments over money.
Richard Debate: The face of a murderer or a grieving widow?
Investigators however, were immediately suspicious of Richard Dabate’s account of events the morning his wife was killed. Notably, that morning, three dogs picked up no scent other than Dabate’s outside the home, there didn’t appear to be any point of entry for an intruder and the house was remarkably organized given the struggle Dabate described.
One of the first questions detectives put to Dabate as they interviewed him was whether their investigation would reveal any issues with his marriage. He took a deep breath as the detectives awaited his response.
“Yes and no,” he said.
Richard Dabate a computer network administrator in Bloomfield, has no criminal convictions.
Connie Dabate a 1999 graduate from the University of Connecticut was a pharmaceutical sales representative for Reckitt Benckiser. The couple who married on July 4, 2003, and had two sons, ages 9 and 6.
The Dabate home in Ellington, Conn.
Vigil by family friends and colleagues for Connie Dabate
State police used an analysis of the home’s “alarm system, computers, cellphones, social media postings and Connie Dabate’s Fitbit to create a timeline that contradicted Richard Dabate’s statements to police,” the warrant cited.
From the begining of the investigation, all signs pointed to Richard Dabate as the perpetrator.
Responding officers found him with an arm and leg secured to a folding chair with a zip tie, and he had superficial knife wounds.
He told police that a masked man entered the home, shot his wife in the basement and tied him up, according to an arrest affidavit. He added that he escaped death by burning the intruder with a torch. No one showed up at area hospitals or medical clinics with burns, investigators said.
Furthermore, K9 Dogs brought in to search for the suspect only picked up Richard Dabate’s scent, tracking him all the way t to an ambulance.
Although his wallet was found in the grass behind their house, it still had money in it and nothing was taken from the house. The home showed no sign of a struggle, the warrant said.
Mourning family members expressed relief that an arrest was made in Connie Dabate’s death after 16 months of waiting.
Dabate, who is currently out of custody after posting bail, is scheduled to return to court Friday.