iPhone tracking app saves Orange Co. man's life, deputies say



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County deputies say for the first time, they used a simple application that many have on their iPhones to help track down a missing man in danger.

Orange County deputies said the app saved the man's life Tuesday.

"They were able to get to him in minutes, and in this case, minutes counted," Jane Watrel, with the Orange County Sheriff's Office, said.

The same tracking app has also helped solve all kinds of crime, officials say.

Deputies got a call from the man's wife. She said he was suicidal, and she hadn't seen him in hours at their home, on Taylor Creek Road in Christmas.

"This was a life-and-death situation," Watrel said.

Deputies couldn't get their search chopper up because of towers in the area, but detectives discovered the man did have his iPhone on him, which had an iPhone tracking application.

Deputies were able to track that phone all the way to the end of a dirt road in Christmas, where they found him in just minutes, still alive after attempting to take his life.

"This is the first time anyone can recall using an iPhone tracker to find a missing persons," Watrel said.

Authorities are using it more and more in other cases, like finding suspects and stolen electronics.

An airport worker accused of stealing a passenger's iPhone was caught by using the same tool Wednesday.

Detectives used it to search for a robber in July who also made off with someone's phone in Orange County.

In January, it helped catch a cable man accused of swiping an iPhone right out of someone's home.

Authorities said it's an example of just how invaluable the technology can be.