Colorado police track down a pair of fugitives using Spotify and Netflix

Nunn and Barr’s mugshots.
Nunn and Barr’s mugshots.
Image: Ars Technica/ Larimer County Sheriff's Office
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Colorado authorities have closed a seven-month search for two girls who were abducted in December by their mother, Brittany Nunn, and her husband, Peter Barr, in the midst of a custody dispute. The case was ultimately cracked by local sheriff’s investigator Drew Weber, who executed a search warrant and pulled records from Nunn’s Spotify account, The Coloradoan newspaper reported.

Weber was able to track the Spotify IP address associated with Nunn’s account to Mexico. He then pulled search accounts from other accounts, including Nunn’s Netflix account, and was eventually able to track the fugitives to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. With help from a private investigator, the FBI, and the US State Department, they developed a plan over several months to bring the abducted children home.

Nunn was on the verge of losing primary custody of the two girls—ages 4 and 6—to their fathers, according to the Coloradan. Mexican immigration authorities arrested Nunn and Barr and deported them to the United States, where they are now facing felony custody violation charges. The girls have been returned to their fathers.

Neither Spotify nor Netflix has commented on the investigation, but Techdirt notes that the use of a search warrant means that the companies would have been required to supply any requested information to investigators.