Legal software tracks cell phones

Spyware used as evidence in murder case

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - Cell phone tracking technology is coming to the forefront of a South Florida murder case.

Cid Torrez is charged with premeditated first-degree murder in his wife Vilet's death. He was arrested last month.

"He's the quintessential psychopath husband," said Javier Blanco, Vilet Torres' brother.

Police records show Cid Torres used a spyware software to track his wife's cell phone to prove she was cheating on him. Vilet Torres was last seen in March.

"You have this software that you've obviously purchased and you have it on her phone," said Blanco. "You know her whereabouts at all times. You know who she's texting... It's surreal."

Blanco said he had no idea such cell phone technology even existed. The spyware gives a user access to the cell phone's records, text messages, and GPS locator. It cost as little as $39.99 online.

According to the arrest affidavit, Torres downloaded the spyware to his wife's phone and used his work computer to track it.

For a higher price, spyware programs allow users to utilize the cell phone as a listening device, allowing them to listen in on conversations.

"Yes, it's legal to obtain that software but how you use that software could be illegal," said private investigator Dan Reimer.

Reimer said the software is legal if the buyer already owns the phone being monitored. It's unclear if Torres and his wife were on the same cell phone plan.

Spyware is primarily marketed to parents, employers, and suspicious spouses.

There are anti-spyware programs available online to thwart potential snoopers and some are free. Reimer has other advice.

"Don't let it get into the hands of someone you don't trust," he said.

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