Last Updated Aug 20, 2020 1:58 PM EDT
Did a Florida man hire a look-alike to kill his wife? A GPS leads police right to the hit man's door. "48 Hours" correspondent Erin Moriarty reports in
On the morning of Saturday, June 27, 2015, two men from Missouri, Jimmy Ray Rodgers and Curtis Wayne Wright, got into a rental car and entered an address into the GPS unit. They were on their way to Bonita Springs, Florida, a destination more than 17 hours away.
They set off to find Dr. Teresa Sievers, who practiced holistic medicine. On the weekend Dr. Sievers was murdered, she and her husband Mark and their two daughters, had travelled to New York, before Teresa returned alone on Sunday to see patients the next day.
She never made it to her clinic. A family friend who was called by Mark to check on his wife at their home discovered her bludgeoned to death on the floor of the kitchen. Among the physical evidence at the crime scene was a hammer used in the attack.
Police say she was bludgeoned to death by Rodgers and Wright, and the clues that led to their arrests came from digital evidence left behind.
Rodgers and Wright must have been convinced they could get away with murder. They paid little attention to the fact their entire trip was being digitally documented. That digital footprint enabled investigators to trace the killers' steps directly from the crime scene, back to Jimmy Rodgers' front door.
"This is a case in which 21st century technology became vital," said prosecutor Cynthia Ross.
Investigators pulled their trip route from the GPS system in their rental car, data from cell phone towers and security camera footage, which allowed them to piece together the complete chronology of their plot to kill Dr. Sievers.
After driving all day and all night, investigators estimate that Rodgers and Wright arrived at the Sievers home in Florida at around 6 a.m. on Sunday, June 28, 2015. Police believe the two men entered the house, disabled the alarm, and then got back in to the car for another ride.
The next address entered into the GPS was a local Walmart. Security footage from the store shows Rodgers and Wright shopping with seemingly no concerns about hiding their identities. Video shows them leaving with suspicious purchases, including wipes, trash bags, black towels, black shoes, and a lock-picking kit.
Following the shopping trip, the GPS recorded a drive to a local beach. After spending time by the ocean, Rodgers and Wright did not turn around to go home. The next stop would be back to that house in Bonita Springs. There, they sat for hours, waiting for Dr. Sievers to come home.
"Quite honestly, he was one of the smartest people with computers that I ever met," said Greg Bolin, a former schoolmate of Curtis Wayne Wright. "To a lot of people looking at it kind of makes it look like these guys were just dumb and dumber."
But there are more than two criminals in this story: a third man has been charged in Dr. Sievers' death, one with an uncanny resemblance to Curtis Wayne Wright.