Police push ID links to prepaid phones


By Jim McElhatton
The Washington Times

CHICAGO — Victims in Chicago Police Detective Timothy J. Murphy's homicide cases were leaving behind important clues: cell phones showing incoming calls just before the times of death.

But the calls increasingly led to numbers dialed by prepaid cell-phone users and that's a dead end, Detective Murphy explained in a letter sent nearly two years ago to state and federal lawmakers, because phone companies usually don't maintain the identities of the phone buyers.

"In the last several months, many of my homicide investigations have been hindered due to the major obstruction that 'prepay' or 'pay as you go' cellular telephones that litter the market cause," he wrote. "I am seeking your assistance in introducing legislation to regulate this loophole."

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