Why did LE seize BD's & SA's phones?

Discussion in 'Hailey Dunn' started by yllek, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. yllek

    yllek New Member

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    LE seized Billie's and Shawn's cell phones early in the investigation, prior to Billie's appearance on Nancy Grace on 1/4/2011. As of Billie's 1/20/2011 appearance on Nancy Grace, their cell phones had not been returned. I do not believe LE seized the phones simply to look at the call logs. I have opinions as to why having the cell phones is important to LE and wonder what others think.


    From 1/4/2011 Nancy Grace Transcript (BBM)


    GRACE: I want to go back to Billie Dunn. I understand police have seized yours and your boyfriend`s cell phones. Why?

    BILLIE DUNN: Yes. They`re taking them to check out all the calls that were made on Monday. Hailey did have my cell phone at home and access to it. That would have been the cell phone she was on. She didn`t use Shawn`s cell phone, but they`re checking them both, getting the records off of both of those. And hopefully, we`re going to have answers from the cell phones tonight.

    GRACE: OK. So this has nothing to do with you being under any kind of suspicion at all. This has to do with the fact that your little girl and you shared a cell phone, and they`re trying to figure out who she was calling and who was calling her, correct?

    BILLIE DUNN: Correct. I left the cell phone at home while I was at work, for the kids.

    GRACE: OK. What about your boyfriend? Why do they have his cell phone?

    BILLIE DUNN: They have his cell phone, too. It was around probably just for 15 minutes, and she didn`t use it but they`re looking at his, also.

    GRACE: I want to go to Ben Levitan, telecommunications expert, joining us out of Raleigh. Ben, these phones were disposable phones. What does that mean? Will police be able to track them?

    BEN LEVITAN, TELECOMMUNICATIONS EXPERT (via telephone): It doesn`t matter, Nancy. A prepaid phone, or like you call it, a disposable phone, is exactly the same as any other phone. It can be traced. It can be wiretapped. It makes no sense for the police to take the phones away. All the information they need is available from the phone companies, and that information for every person involved in this should be grabbed right now.
     
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  3. concernedmother

    concernedmother Active Member

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    Good question. Maybe they wanted to give them one with bugs in them.But I see they can wire tap so I cant figure that out either why they kept them.
     
  4. concernedmother

    concernedmother Active Member

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    http://www.johntfloyd.com/blog/2011/02/07/cell-phones-texts-not-safe-from-police-searches/
    The Fifth Circuit upheld the trial court’s decision that even though the cell phone had been issued by an employer, Finley nonetheless maintained a property interest in the phone because he had a right to exclude others from using it, he had exhibited a subjective expectation of privacy in it, and took normal precautions to maintain his privacy in it.

    Having found that Finley had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the cell phone, the Fifth Circuit turned its attention to whether the search of the phone and seizure of the text messages was proper “incident to a lawful arrest.” [/B]Citing United States v. Robinson, the Fifth Circuit said it is well-settled law that “police officers are not constrained to search only for weapons or instruments of escape on the arrestee’s person; they may also, without any additional justification, look for evidence on the arrestee’s person in order to preserve it for use at trial .. The permissible scope of a search incident to a lawful arrest extends to containers found on the arrestee’s person.”

    Relying upon United States v. Walter, Finley argued that while the seizure of his cell phone from his pocket was lawful, the police had no authority to examine its contents because it was analogous to a closed container. The Fifth Circuit rejected the Walter analogy “because in that case no exception to the warrant requirement applied … whereas here no warrant was required since the search was conducted pursuant to a valid custodial arrest … Special Agent Cook was therefore permitted to search Finley’s cell phone pursuant to his arrest.” The appeals court added: “The fact that the search took place after the police transported Finley to Brown’s residence does not alter our conclusion … In general, as long as the administrative processes incident to the arrest and custody have not been completed, a search of effects seized from the defendant’s person is still incident to the defendant’s arrest. Although the police had moved Finley, the search was still substantially contemporaneous with his arrest and was therefore permissible.”
     
  5. cluciano63

    cluciano63 Well-Known Member

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    In some states, LE can keep items for up to 90 days without naming anyone a suspect or charging anyone. Maybe they just kept the phones because they can?

    I really can't figure out why they would need the actual phones. Fingerprints are not going to mean much, or DNA, with everyone living together.
     
  6. EnvoyDriver61

    EnvoyDriver61 Howdy Y'all

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    I wonder how one would determine if tracking/spying software is or has been on the phone at any time in the past? Or, maybe to see if someone NOT on their radar may call.
     
  7. concernedmother

    concernedmother Active Member

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    The phone was seized in the above case for the text messages. At least thats the way I understood it.
     
  8. Jo in Calif

    Jo in Calif Well-Known Member

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    Possibly there were voice mails on them, that LE want to preserve.
    Text messages will be on the phone records.
     
  9. concernedmother

    concernedmother Active Member

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    Bingo. That just may be it.
     
  10. mrdimwit

    mrdimwit New Member

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    IMOP E=yllek;6126689]LE seized Billie's and Shawn's cell phones early in the investigation, prior to Billie's appearance on Nancy Grace on 1/4/2011. As of Billie's 1/20/2011 appearance on Nancy Grace, their cell phones had not been returned. I do not believe LE seized the phones simply to look at the call logs. I have opinions as to why having the cell phones is important to LE and wonder what others think.


    From 1/4/2011 Nancy Grace Transcript (BBM)


    GRACE: I want to go back to Billie Dunn. I understand police have seized yours and your boyfriend`s cell phones. Why?

    BILLIE DUNN: Yes. They`re taking them to check out all the calls that were made on Monday. Hailey did have my cell phone at home and access to it. That would have been the cell phone she was on. She didn`t use Shawn`s cell phone, but they`re checking them both, getting the records off of both of those. And hopefully, we`re going to have answers from the cell phones tonight.

    GRACE: OK. So this has nothing to do with you being under any kind of suspicion at all. This has to do with the fact that your little girl and you shared a cell phone, and they`re trying to figure out who she was calling and who was calling her, correct?

    BILLIE DUNN: Correct. I left the cell phone at home while I was at work, for the kids.

    GRACE: OK. What about your boyfriend? Why do they have his cell phone?

    BILLIE DUNN: They have his cell phone, too. It was around probably just for 15 minutes, and she didn`t use it but they`re looking at his, also.

    GRACE: I want to go to Ben Levitan, telecommunications expert, joining us out of Raleigh. Ben, these phones were disposable phones. What does that mean? Will police be able to track them?

    BEN LEVITAN, TELECOMMUNICATIONS EXPERT (via telephone): It doesn`t matter, Nancy. A prepaid phone, or like you call it, a disposable phone, is exactly the same as any other phone. It can be traced. It can be wiretapped. It makes no sense for the police to take the phones away. All the information they need is available from the phone companies, and that information for every person involved in this should be grabbed right now.[/QUOTE]

    I think LE like me is wondering why BD and SA aren't screeming from the mountian top about the 2:15 tx to MB. My take on that is they(BD,SA) don't want LE digging to deep into who sent the tx to MB. BD didn't mention it in the presser or on NG to my knowledge,SA in the interview didn't either. Why? I missed it in my research.
     
  11. yllek

    yllek New Member

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    I agree; if they just wanted to tap/hear their conversations, they could have tapped their existing phones and given them back. Keeping them attached to their existing phone numbers would have been more effective if they just wanted to listen in on their conversations with each other and their usual contacts (if LE trusted them not to tip off callers that the phones might be tapped, which I don't think they did). However, I think LE would have needed a warrant to tap their phones without their consent.

    I wonder if LE was able to convince them to give up their cell phones voluntarily because both of their cell phones were in the home with Hailey before she went missing. If so, Billie and Shawn probably thought LE would check outgoing calls/texts possibly made by Hailey and then give the phones back, which wasn't the case. Or, maybe LE took the phones after Shawn started deleting calls in front of them. Without either of them being a POI or suspect at the time, I don't know if LE could have just seized the phones against their wishes? It's very curious to me...

    I suspect LE took the phones because they wanted to compare their call logs against phone records (what incoming/outgoing calls did they delete from their phones) and to monitor and control incoming calls for a host of reasons. Interested in hearing if others come up with the same reasons.
     
  12. Caligram

    Caligram New Member

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    I think it was for the voice mails. Both BD and SA had their phones taken, which seems to indicate collusion.

    IMO
     
  13. concernedmother

    concernedmother Active Member

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  14. yllek

    yllek New Member

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    BBM

    That's one of my possible reasons for them taking the phones too. I believe LE seriously considered that Hailey may have been stashed by BD and/or SA and are closely monitoring those phones. If LE suspected it may be some kind of game they were playing, LE might not want them to be able to answer themselves... Or, if they thought Hailey had run away, perhaps LE wanted to be the first point of contact for Hailey or anyone that might be holding her.

    I don't believe for a second that LE isn't all over those phones, as we were told by Billie's friend. They kept them for good reasons.

    I also think that LE gave Shawn his phone back after interrogating him about phone calls suspecting that he might delete some. I think it was a good strategic move. Once they had his phone, they could compare the phone records to the outgoing call log on his phone and determine what calls he deleted.

    Imo, Billie is very concerned about not having that phone (though I'm sure LE assured her that they would be monitoring it in case Hailey called). Her message for Hailey not to call her cell phone on 1/20 Nancy Grace is significant to me. Was she talking to Hailey or somebody else? She repeats twice "because I don't have my phone" during that interview. Maybe she's concerned about people calling her number wanting to buy something, maybe her concern ties more directly into Hailey's disappearance.
     
  15. passionflower

    passionflower Just 1 tip to find a killer

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    traces of blood???
    something that should not be on a phone?
    secial dirt if dropped?
    trace evidence?
     
  16. cluciano63

    cluciano63 Well-Known Member

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    Or perhaps to have their phonebook of contacts...
    and to see who tries to call them.

    I think Billie's friend said she or someone else provided Billie with a phone when Le took hers, so if that is true, LE did not give her one to use.
     
  17. impatientredhead

    impatientredhead New Member

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    The police and FBI can flash your phone in minutes if you have given them permission (think of all of Casey's friends that handed their phones to one LE while they talked to another one, computer guy LE flashes the phone, has electronic copy of contacts, call logs, voicemails, it is just a hard drive).

    I think these particular phones must have been prepaid phones that makes it important for them to have the physical phone to prove who it belongs to? Or they aren't as traceable/tappable?
     
  18. Knox

    Knox Wear Pink & Eat Cake ~ Lauren Giddings

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    What about a number that was dialed but the call did not go through? It would show on the phone but not on the cell phone records.
     
  19. pms

    pms New Member

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    are the phones multimedia phones? maybe looking at websites and photo's?
     
  20. hollyblue

    hollyblue It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen t

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    bbm Agree. I have felt from the time I heard that...that she was giving someone a msg. I thought it was SA because she supposedly wasn't in communication with him too much, but it could be anyone she doesn't want to contact in fear LE may know or find out. That msg was so out of place. If someone had HD and she did manage to get away, she was 13 and surely would have the knowledge to call 911.

    I'm not familiar with disposable phones. Could LE be afraid if they did tap/wire it that BD could throw it away and defeat that purpose? Can you constantly add minutes or after a certain time period are they made to just stop functioning. TIA
     
  21. Suthrnqt

    Suthrnqt Verified Luddite

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    Disposable, or pre-paid phones function as long as minutes are added. Phone cards can be purchased from $20.00 on up. The minutes received vary by carrier.

    I switched my 17yo daughter to a prepaid through Verizon after I received a HUGE bill. I usually put $30/month on her phone for unlimited texting.

    Hope this helps.
     

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