Weeks before video of a suspected serial killer’s capture fueled relief in Tampa, images of a man walking with a cell phone the night of one of the murders kept the city on high alert.
Surveillance video captured the man moments before murder #4. He was seen casually walking in the Seminole Heights neighborhood looking down at a cell phone.
It’s a cell phone, Tampa police now say helped them connect 24-year-old Howell Emanuel Donaldson III to randomly killing four people in 5 weeks.
“To hear that a cell phone played a key part in this guy’s arrest, oh no not surprising, not surprising at all,” said digital forensic analyst Vincent Risalvato. His job with Global Digital Forensics, often depends on the secrets he can dig up in a cell phone.
“It’s a recording of everything that you’re doing,” he said.
Including location. According to Tampa police, it was “significant” location data from a cell phone that helped link Donaldson to the crimes. Key to that, a cell phone tower that pinned him to the same Seminole Heights neighborhood around the same times 3 of the 4 murders took place.