Detectives search for digital evidence in unsolved Spokane Valley murder

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – Authorities have served a search warrant requesting digital records belonging to the ex-girlfriend of homicide victim Cory Fowler.

Fowler, 34, was found dead on the floor of his Spokane Valley apartment on February 18, 2016 by his father, according to court documents. The Spokane County Medical Examiner ruled Fowler died from a gunshot wound to the face.

The search warrant requests access to four email accounts belonging to Cristina C. Stiles. According to court documents, Stiles is Fowler’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of Fowler’s child.

Previous search warrants were executed at Stiles’ residence on June 15, 2016. During the execution of the warrants, a cell phone was seized and examined by a digital forensics specialist. During an investigation, authorities found the phone did not belong to Stiles. According to court documents, the phone belonged to Stiles’ son. The phone was dormant for January of 2016 and reactivated again the day after Fowler’s murder, court documents state.

Stiles claimed her phone was either lost or stolen, so detectives were unable to recover it. Detectives did examine Stiles’ phone records which indicated the phone was not in the area of Fowler’s residence at the suspected time of his death.

According to court documents, Stiles claimed to have lost her phone or had it stolen the day after detectives believe Fowler was killed. Cell phones, like computers, retain a lot of data that detectives believe may show the activity the day of the homicide, as well as activity in the days and months prior to and after the homicide.

Since the phone is apparently gone, detectives have requested to obtain some of the data lost with the phone. According to court documents, Stiles’ phone was an android, which often requires an email account set up through Google to operate.

The most recent search warrant requests access to Stiles’ emails, as well as other messages, records, files, logs and information that may have been deleted, but are still available to Google. 

© 2017 KREM-TV


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