Murder victim’s Fitbit leads to arrest of 90-year-old stepfather, who cops say used small hatchet or axe
Tony Aiello, 90, has been accused of a brutal murder of his wife’s adult daughter in San Jose, California
Police say Tony Aiello murdered 67-year-old Karen Navarra in her home on Sept 8
He then tried to stage the bloody scene as a suicide, however, victim’s wounds could not have been self-inflicted, cops said
90-year-old Tony Aiello is accused of the brutal murder of his 67-year-old step-daughter Karen Navarra
California cops say Tony Aiello murdered 67-year-old Karen Navarra in her home on Sept. 8 and tried to stage the bloody scene as a suicide. However, officials said her wounds could not have been self-inflicted.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Navarra’s Fitbit recorded a rapid rise in her heart rate before a sudden drop-off to nothing, helping San Jose police piece together clues to her death.
Aiello, who is married to Navarra’s mother, said he brought pizza to her San Jose home on the day of her murder and stayed 15 minutes. However, surveillance cameras showed his car at Navarra’s home at the same time that her Fitbit Alta showed a “significant spike” in her heart rate followed by a “rapid slowing,” according to a police statement of facts. The Fitbit showed that Navarra’s heart rate stopped at 3:28 p.m.
“After explaining the abilities of the Fitbit to record time, physical movement, and heart rate data, he was informed that the victim was deceased prior to his leaving the house,” the document read. “Aiello stated that could not be true because she had walked him to the door when he left the residence.”
Navarra’s body was found in her home on Sept. 13, five days after Aiello’s visit, after she failed to show up for work. She was found “slouched” in a chair at her dining room table.
She was found with a “gaping laceration” on her neck and wounds on the top of her head, according to police. A large kitchen knife was found in Navarra’s right hand.
A later autopsy found “multiple deep and intrusive wounds” to her head and facial area, likely inflicted by a small hatchet or axe. The ME told investigators Navarra couldn’t have inflicted the wounds herself and classified the case as a homicide.
Aiello suggested to cops that someone else might have been in the house when Navarra was killed, but they had found two shirts with blood spatter in the clothes hamper in his garage. He said he might have cut his hand and shaken it while he was wearing those shirts.
He was arrested on suspicion of murder.