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Avondale PD used a murder suspect's Google data to find him, docs show

The suspect's phone was in the area at the time, and he searched "shootings in Avondale AZ last night" the next evening.
Credit: MCSO
Jorge Molina booking photo.

PHOENIX — An Avondale man stands accused of a March murder after police used his Google data, GPS tracking and vehicle registration to tie him to the scene.

The Avondale Police Department received a search warrant for data from mobile devices associated with Google accounts that traveled through the area of Joseph Knight's murder around midnight March 14. Knight was killed outside his apartment southeast of Central Avenue and Van Buren Street.

One of the four devices Google highlighted belonged to Jorge Molina. Police searched Arizona's vehicle registration database for a car registered to Molina and found a white Honda four-door sedan.

Surveillance video from the crime scene shows a vehicle matching that description slowing down before nine shots are fired from the driver's side window, according to court documents.

Avondale police used another warrant to get Molina's Google search history, which showed he searched "shootings in Avondale AZ last night" on the evening of March 14.

Police arrested Molina last week and searched his car but were not able to find a gun or any bullet casings inside the car or at his home. Police documents also do not detail any potential motive in the case, instead relying on the video and digital evidence in Molina's arrest.