Pacemaker data used to charge Ohio man with arson, fraud

Two of the world's smallest pacemakers, right, next to an original sized pacemaker. An Ohio man is facing arson and fraud charges, after police used data from his pacemaker to gather evidence against him.
Two of the world's smallest pacemakers, right, next to an original sized pacemaker. An Ohio man is facing arson and fraud charges, after police used data from his pacemaker to gather evidence against him.

Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

An Ohio man is facing arson and fraud charges, after police used data from his pacemaker to gather evidence against him.

Suspect Ross Compton, 59, is accused of setting his Middletown house in southwestern Ohio on fire last September, causing some $400,000 in damages.

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Compton has serious medical problems, including an artificial heart implant, and police said the information Compton gave about the fire was “inconsistent” with the facts at the scene, the Journal-News reported.

Investigators obtained a warrant to search the electronic data, including heart rhythms and rate, on Compton’s pacemaker.

A cardiologist concluded that it was “highly improbable” that Compton could have escaped the burning home with suitcases and bags through a bedroom window, based on his medical condition, according to court documents.

Compton is charged with felony aggravated arson and insurance fraud.

Middletown police Lt. Jimmy Cunningham said the pacemaker data was “one of the key pieces of evidence that allowed us to charge him,” WLWT Channel 5 reported.