SAN PATRICIO COUNTY, Texas — For the first time, 3News received a closer look at how crime scene investigators use cell phone data to solve crimes.
The Secret Service has trained one investigator in San Patricio County on how to use advanced technology to fight crime.
Cell phones, computers, they are devices we use every day, but to law enforcement, there's a darker side to the ever changing way of communication.
"Most crimes now. They all involve some form of digital evidence," a forensic investigator said. "I help the investigators find those text messages find those pictures you know that will help them close their case, as far as the digital examination of cellular phones. I'm the first one to do that."
3 News has been asked not to identify her.
"The pathway to it is what's removed, but the information is still stored in the phone," she said.
"One of the downfalls is a lot of people look at the TV and those one-hour programs where they get their evidence back in an hour," Sheriff Oscar Rivera said.
According to Rivera, the quick turnaround is far from reality.
"Getting it back from the Lab takes months. Sometimes over a year to get our evidence back," the forensic investigator said.
But with a computer and cell phone lab in house, chances are investigators will find what they're looking for.
"Be careful what you download. Be careful what you keep," Rivera said.
"That's why these tools are great because even though that pathway is deleted, I mean, I'll still be able to pull some of that information from the cell phone," she said.
Information could help put even the most tech-savvy criminals behind bars.
"If you're committing crimes, you know using digital media in our county," the forensic investigator said.
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