It seems like Alexa has become a prime witness in the bizarre murder of a 32-year-old Florida woman who was impaled by a spear following an argument with her partner. Florida police are relying on two Amazon Echo Dot speakers for clues to determine the events that transpired on the eve of July 12 leading to the death of Silvia Galva. The police filed a search warrant to obtain the audio recordings from Amazon's servers a month after the incident to help them with their investigation.
The 32-year-old woman's death was the result of injuries sustained after being impaled by a spear during an altercation with her 43-year-old boyfriend, Adam Reechard Crespo, in their Florida condo following a night out, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Crespo told police that he and Galva got into an altercation following an argument and was trying to pull her off the bed by her ankles when she grabbed hold of a spear located near the foot of the bed. He claimed he then heard the spear snap and as he continued pulling the woman off the bed, the 43-year-old saw the 12-inch blade of the weapon pierce through her chest when he turned around.
Crespo said he then tried to pull out the blade, thinking that the injury was "not too bad," but Galva later succumbed to her injuries. The police arrived at the scene and arrested Crespo, charging him with murder without premeditation, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
A spokesperson for the police confirmed that the audio recordings, received from Amazon, were already in possession of the department but it is not clear if any evidence was recorded on the voice-controlled smart speakers.
Amazon spokesman Leigh Nakanishi pointed out that Echo speakers only record short bursts of statements and are not listening in on private conversations. "Echo devices are designed to detect only your chosen wake word," he said. The speaker responds to the wake-up word, "Alexa," by default, though you can change it to "Amazon, Computer, or Echo."
The device wakes up and starts to listen and record only when the prompt word is used. "No audio is stored or sent to the cloud unless the device detects the wake word," he added.