Find My iPhone app
A woman in Texas used Find My iPhone to locate her husband and sadly came upon his body in her search Apple

A woman in Texas, US used Apple's Find My iPhone app to track down the body of her husband after he didn't come home one night and the app revealed that he was at a location only half an hour from the family home.

Carla Melendez of Harris County, Texas, says that she was worried when her husband, Ramiro Acosta, 23, didn't come home on Wednesday night, 13 January. She told local news channel ABC 13 Eyewitness News that he had previously been a gang member, and even though he was "done with that", he might still have a lot of enemies.

Concerned, she opened the Find My iPhone app on her iPhone, which had been linked to Acosta's iPhone, and used it to track his whereabouts, only to find that her husband seemed to be at a location that was only 30 minutes away from their home.

Early in the morning on Thursday, 14 January, when she saw that the pulsing dot representing her husband's phone was still at the same location, Melendez decided to investigate. She drove to the area indicated by the app and found her husband's body located by some trees along the side of a road called Turkey Drive, off Aldine Westfield Road. He had been shot once in the torso.

"[The app] showed trees and it was weird, because why would his phone be by trees? And it was there for a while," said Melendez. "If somebody saw something please say something. He didn't deserve to be thrown like this, like a dog in the street. I just wanted him to wake up, god knows how long he was laying there."

Investigators with the Harris County Sheriff's Department say they don't have a lot of information currently and are appealing for anyone who might have information about Acosta's death to come forward.

The idea of civilians doing their own detective work using the Find My iPhone app is becoming a rising trend. In 2015, a Canadian teenager was shot dead after he tracked his stolen smartphone from thieves in Ontario; two UK women used the app to catch a handbag thief when police were too busy to respond to their call; and a businessman tracked his iPhone 5S down after it survived a 9,300ft drop from an aeroplane in Texas.