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iPhone App Foils Husband Who Murdered Wife

Mitesh Patel wanted to run away with his boyfriend to Australia
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2018 2:01 PM CST
This Oct. 22, 2018, photo shows the iPhone XR, left, and the iPhone XS Max in New York.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

(Newser) – This may have been a crime of passion, but that doesn't mean it wasn't premeditated. In fact, that's exactly what a UK jury found the murder of Jessica Patel to be, meticulously planned by her husband, Mitesh, for five years so he could run away to Australia to be with his boyfriend, the Guardian reports. The 37-year-old pharmacist was convicted Tuesday and given a minimum of 30 years behind bars after a three-week trial, at the end of which the judge told him, per the BBC: "You have no remorse for your actions. Any pity you have is for yourself." Patel was found guilty of strangling and suffocating his 34-year-old wife with a plastic bag in May, with her $2.5 million life insurance policy apparently being part of the draw.

Authorities say Patel had long had affairs with men he met through the Grindr app, and he was said to have wanted to run off to Sydney to be with his latest boyfriend—and to have a child with him using Jessica Patel's frozen embryos, created via IVF. "He could have divorced her, taken everything he wanted, he did not need to take her life," Jessica's sister said in a statement. "He had no right to take this evil, cruel, and malicious step." Part of what helped bust Patel, who tried to make the murder scene look like someone else had broken in: a health and wellness app on his iPhone that showed a burst of "frantic" activity as he tried to stage the supposed burglary. The same app on Jessica's phone, meanwhile, stayed still—until the 14 paces Patel took with her phone as he removed it from her body and dropped it outside as part of the staging. (Read more murder stories.)

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