Los Angeles Police hacked into iPhone 5s
The Los Angeles Police Department unlocked the iPhone of actor Michael Jace's murdered wife Reuters

The Los Angeles Police have managed to unlock the iPhone belonging to the murdered wife of Michael Jace. The Shield actor has been accused of killing his 40-year-old wife April Jace on 19 May 2014 at their home on Brynhurst Avenue in Hyde Park, Los Angeles. The 53-year-old is currently awaiting trial.

The couple are said to have argued over their relationship through texts before the shooting, according to court papers. The investigation into this evidence was hindered as April Jace's iPhone was locked by a passcode.

In January 2016, an investigator with the LA country district attorney's office attempted to extract data from the iPhone 5s but could only get the SIM card content. The device did not turn on when the authorities tried to inspect it a month later.

According to a warrant filed in the Los Angeles Country Superior Court, which Los Angeles Times has reportedly reviewed, LA Police Department (LAPD) detectives discovered a method to bypass security features and unlock the white iPhone 5s of April Jace. The warrant also revealed that in 2015 an LA judge ordered an Apple technician to help extract the data from the iPhone.

In the warrant, LAPD detective Connie Zych wrote on 18 March that a "forensic cellphone expert" who could "override the locked iPhone function" had been found. Following this, in April, a senior investigator from the district attorney's office examined the phone.

The search warrant does not contain details about the method used to hack the iPhone 5s, the version of its operating system, or the expert who bypassed the security.

The bypass happened around the same time the FBI demanded that Apple unlock the iPhone 5c of the San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. On 28 March, the US federal authorities announced they were withdrawing an encryption case against Apple after they successfully unlocked the iPhone of Farook.