While conducting a digital forensic examination of a suspicious suicide, French digital forensic expert, David Raulin, was able to access and recover deleted mobile data that rendered new evidence transforming a “cold case” into justice.

“Cellebrite’s solution provided technological proof – you cannot deny that it’s there – which ultimately carried huge weight in court.” – David Raulin, Judicial Expert, and Cellebrite Certified Mobile Examiner
The issue of recovering deleted mobile data is at the forefront of cases revolving around mobile device evidence exhibits. While the common practice among criminals, perpetrators, and suspects is to hide their digital “tracks” by erasing data to frustrate ensuing investigations, Cellebrite works tirelessly to stay on top of encryption technologies to guarantee access and recovery of case-sensitive data.
The commitment of Cellebrite to continuously reveal the digital evidence landscape in each case is fueled by the feedback from law enforcement officers who report successful investigations that acquitted the innocent and uncovered the guilty.
The increasing prevalence of mobile phones involved in homicide cases has become a regular occurrence in movie and TV scripts like the following short clip of the CSI: New York TV episode which features the Cellebrite UFED Solution. Listen for the key takeaway quote: “Deleted is never really deleted.” 

We at Cellebrite are continuously inspired by case studies that illustrate how unlocking and extraction data from locked and encrypted mobile devices – whether Apple, Samsung and operating systems like iOS and Android – can be the critical difference in solving cases faster.

The following are excerpts from the Case Study: “Deleted Text Messages Betray a Daughter’s Killer“. The full version delivers in-depth insights and technical know-how that led to the conviction of the real killer hiding behind deleted data.

The Scene

On June 19th, 2013, in the city of Fécamp, France, a husband, and wife receive a phone call from their daughter’s husband telling them that their daughter, Harmonie, a 25-year old nurse, had taken her own life. 

The Initial Investigation

An initial examination of the victim’s phone showed the husband’s alibi to be solid, however, numerous facts surfaced during the investigation that discredited the husband’s story. He was eventually taken into custody, but released a few days after his wife’s suicide was confirmed by the medical examiner. 

Relentless Mother Drives New Investigation

When her mother got her daughter’s possessions back, she decided to go through them and read the thousands of messages on her iPhone 4 and painstakingly forwarded each of her findings to the President of the Component Court. 

Digital forensic expert, David Raulin, was appointed to conduct a full forensic examination and analysis of the phone.
To read the conclusion and find out how it was achieved, access the full case study here

This is not an isolated case where deleted messages ultimately turned around the verdict in the light of new digital evidence. Many other investigators around the globe are experiencing the benefits of redeeming dormant, hidden or erased digital evidence. 

Using proprietary technology, Cellebrite has transformed complicated challenges with straightforward and speedy solutions that get to the heart of the matter during cases suffering from scarcity of evidence and ambiguous eyewitness accounts.

Watch Ryan Lockhart, Putnam County Sheriff’s Department of West Virginia, state how important it is to be able to leverage Cellebrite’s digital intelligence solutions to recover deleted text and media from phones when trying to validate alibi’s or eyewitness accounts:


We at Cellebrite look forward to delivering the tools and solutions that make these types of stories a reality, not just for law enforcement empowerment but for the justice deserved by victims whose last communication is often recorded but locked on their most personal device, their phone.

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