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In 2013, DriveSavers digital forensic team helped solve the murder of a Texas teen, Shania Gray. Last week, two more events took place to help bring closure for Shania’s family, friends and loved ones.
Contributions from the lead prosecutor in the case, now Dallas County Judge Brandon Birmingham, the Balch Springs Police Association, the Carrollton Police Association and the Mesquite Police Association helped purchase a heart-shaped headstone for Shania’s grave.
Lisa Rae Abbe, whose two sons ran track with Shania, spearheaded the effort and surprised Shania’s mother with the unveiling on Saturday, November 5, 2016.
Just three days earlier, on November 2, 2016, an appeal by Shania’s murderer, Franklin Davis, was denied by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
In November 2013, two DriveSavers digital forensic investigators testified in the prosecution of Franklin Davis, who was charged with the murder of 16-year-old Shania Gray. The data that DriveSavers was able to recover from Gray’s destroyed iPhone was vital to convict Davis, who is now facing the death penalty.
Davis, who had already been charged for sexually assaulting Gray, lured Shania—his family’s babysitter—to a meeting in Carrollton, Texas, where he killed her to prevent her from testifying. Gray received text and social media messages from Davis, who was posing as a private investigator for the rape trial.
The iPhone, which was discovered in a pond near the victim’s body, was destroyed to the point where a federal government forensic lab was unable to retrieve the necessary information for prosecution.
The phone was shipped to DriveSavers for a secondary attempt at retrieving the critical data. The company was able to perform a complete recovery of the iPhone’s data that was key in the outcome of Davis’s murder trial.
Three years later, the role that DriveSavers had in convicting the teen’s killer is still recognized and appreciated, as shown in a recent conversation on Twitter between Birmingham, Abbe and DriveSavers Manager of eDiscovery and Digital Forensics Rene Novoa.
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- Marked Compassion: Police, Judge Help Get Headstone for Murdered Teen’s Grave