' Kate Flexter | MTTLR

Law Enforcement’s Newest Witness, Alexa

On July 12, 2019, Adam Reechard Crespo and his girlfriend, Silvia Galva, got into an argument at Crespo’s home in Hallandale Beach, Florida. What happened next remains unclear, but it ended with Galva stabbed through the chest.   Crespo said he pulled the blade from Galva’s chest and tried to stop the bleeding. It was too late though. Galva died, leaving police to rely solely upon the stories told by Crespo and Galva’s friend who said she overheard the fight.   That is, until police realized that there may have been a silent “witness” of sorts. Crespo had an Amazon Echo, commonly known as Alexa, in his home. The device was not actively in use at the time of the crime, but police believed it may have heard something that could shed light on the otherwise private final moments of Galva’s life.  One month after the alleged crime was committed, police successfully obtained a warrant for those recordings and ultimately received them. Crespo was charged with murder.   The Amazon Echo is a voice activated AI virtual assistant that will tell you the weather, read you the news, or play your favorite song, among other things. But beyond its intended uses, the Echo has proved useful to law enforcement officers, offering a rare, inside look into the crucial moments before a crime was committed. The Amazon Echo made headlines for its role as a potential key witness in the investigations of a 2015 suspected murder in Arkansas and a 2017 New Hampshire double homicide.   In each of these cases, the conversation inevitably turned to privacy concerns as questions...