He traced his stolen iPhone to the wrong home and set it on fire killing 5. Now, he faces prison. (2024)

The teenager traced his stolen iPhone to a Denver neighborhood where he believed the device pinged and, in an act of revenge, set fire to the house where he thought his phone was located.

He hit the wrong home.

In what police have called a coordinated arson attack, the 2020 fire killed five Senegalese family members, including two babies. On Friday, Kevin Huy Bui, now 20, pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree murder in connection to the family's deaths.

Bui was 16 years old when he was robbed and used the "Find my iPhone" app to mistakenly track his stolen phone to the wrong home, officials said. Bui, along with two teenage co-defendants, were all later prosecuted as adults in the case, court papers show.

Under a plea deal, Bui faces up to 60 years in prison when he is sentenced this summer for his role in the quintuple homicide.

He traced his stolen iPhone to the wrong home and set it on fire killing 5. Now, he faces prison. (1)

According to an arrest warrant filed by the Denver Police Department, the fatal fire took place Aug. 5, 2020 and killed Djibril Diol, 29, and Adja Diol, 23, and their 22-month-old daughter, Khadija Diol. Hassan Diol, a 25 year-old mother, and her 7-month-old daughter Hawa Beye also died.

Three other people escaped the home through an upstairs back window, with some suffering broken bones, court documents show.

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Co-defendants also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges

Bui was the last of a trio of friends to enter a plea in the fatal arson fire, records show.

DillonSiebert, 18, pleadedguilty to second-degree murderin 2022 and was sentenced to three years in a juvenile facility followed by seven years in a state prison, Colorado Department of Corrections online records show. Siebert, age 14 when the arson occurred, remained incarcerated Tuesday, with an estimated parole release date of February 2029.

A third co-defendant in the case, GavinSeymour, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in January and wassentenced to 40 years in prison. He was 16 when the crime took place, and also remained incarcerated Tuesday, records showed, with an estimated parole release date of November 2050.

Police kicked in front door but could not enter due to extreme heat

According to the 17-page arrest warrant, on the day of the fire, a police officer in the city's Green Valley Ranch neighborhood was patrolling the area around 2:40 a.m. when he spotted the family's home ablaze.

After alerting firefighters, the officer attempted to enter the home through the garage but could not due to the heat and flames.

He then rushed to the front door where "someone was attempting to unlock the door with the keypad but was unsuccessful. He then kicked the front door in but again could not enter due to the extreme heat.

Arriving fire crews managed to pull one victim from the area of the front door, and the other four victims' bodies were recovered from the front area of the house, the warrant continues.

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Surveillance from neighboring home showed trio wearing masks, hoodies

Surveillance video provided by a neighbor showed three masked suspects wearing dark hoodies outside the home at 2:26 a.m., according to the warrant. The footage also showed at least one suspect holding what appears to be a gasoline can.

He traced his stolen iPhone to the wrong home and set it on fire killing 5. Now, he faces prison. (3)

Court papers also reveal, in what police called "a coordinated attack," the suspects entered the home and used gasoline as an accelerant to set fire to the rear of the home, then fled.

Detectives later obtained a search warrant after asking Google who had searched the home’s address prior to the fire and eventually identified Bui, Siebert and Seymour as suspects. The warrant goes onto say that detectives reviewed conversations between the trio on social media including one on July 15, 2020, where Bui told his friends he was robbed and another where he wrote "they gonna get theirs."

On Aug. 1, 2020, the warrant reads, Bui sent Seymour this message on Snapchat: "#possiblyruinourfuturesandburnhishousedown."

Bui remained incarcerated Tuesday in Denver's downtown detention center without bond, online records show.

He is slated to be sentenced in Denver County District Court on July 2

Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at nalund@usatoday.com and follow her on X @nataliealund.

He traced his stolen iPhone to the wrong home and set it on fire killing 5. Now, he faces prison. (2024)


He traced his stolen iPhone to the wrong home and set it on fire killing 5. Now, he faces prison.? ›

Kevin Bui, who is now aged 20, pleaded guilty this week. A teen from Colorado, United States, is facing up to six decades in jail for killing a family of five after setting fire to the wrong home for revenge over his stolen iPhone, as per a report in the New York Post.

Does Apple Block lost iPhones? ›

Lost Mode lets you lock your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or Apple Watch so that others can't access your personal information.

Should I erase my iPhone if stolen? ›

Stolen or Lost iPhone? Six Things to Do Immediately
  1. Locate your device on a map. ...
  2. Mark as lost. ...
  3. Remotely erase your device. ...
  4. Contact your carrier. ...
  5. Remove the missing device from your account. ...
  6. Change your password.

What to do if an iPhone is stolen? ›

If your iPhone or iPad is lost permanently or was stolen
  1. Report it to local law enforcement. ...
  2. Contact your wireless carrier to report your missing iPhone, ask them to disable your account, and file a claim if your iPhone is covered under your wireless carrier plan.
6 days ago

How to track a stolen iPhone? ›

Sign in to iCloud.com/find. Select your iPhone or iPad. If available, the map zooms in on your device's location.

Can Amazon block an iPhone? ›

If the iPhone is not activated yet then it can't be block by Amazon. And if it is activated by some other person you can block your device by contacting Amazon customer service with your valid purchase proof ( Amazon sends invoice or receipt to your email ).

Can Apple block a stolen iPhone with an IMEI number? ›

No, Apple does not get involved with lost or stolen phones. But, you can lock the phone so it cannot be used. And, you can call your carrier to have them blacklist the phone.

How to block an iPhone when stolen? ›

Mark as Lost on iCloud.com/find to lock your device
  1. Sign in to iCloud.com/find.
  2. Select your iPhone or iPad. ...
  3. Select Mark As Lost, then follow the onscreen instructions to leave a phone number and message.
  4. Select Activate to lock your iPhone or iPad with its existing passcode.
6 days ago

Can a stolen iPhone be deactivated? ›

If your stolen iPhone goes unreported, the thief will be able to use your device and rack up phone and data charges to your account. The "Find My iPhone" application aims to thwart unwanted phone usage, and your cell phone provider can always deactivate your device.

Is stolen iPhone usable? ›

This means that if someone steals an iPhone and attempts to reset it or activate it with a new Apple ID, they will be prompted to enter the original owner's credentials. Without these credentials, the device remains locked and essentially unusable, acting as a strong deterrent against theft.

Can an iPhone be unlocked if stolen? ›

No one can unlock your iPhone unless you give them the passcode. Find My still works even if the phone is turned off as long as there is battery power.

Can you factory reset a stolen iPhone? ›

Remotely erase your device or a family member's device

In Find Devices on iCloud.com, select the device in the All Devices list on the left. If you've already selected a device, you can click All Devices to return to the list and select a new device. Click Erase This Device.

Can a stolen iPhone be tracked if turned off? ›

Apple's Find My network can be used to track a lost or stolen iPhone, even if it's been turned off or offline. For this to work, Find My Network will need to be enabled on the iPhone before it's lost. The feature is only available on the iPhone 11 and later models.

Can police track a phone that is turned off? ›

Can a phone be tracked if it's turned off? A phone that is turned off is difficult to track because it stops sending signals to cell towers. However, the service provider or internet provider can show the last location once it's switched back on.

Is it illegal to track an iPhone? ›

Consequences of Using Phone Spy Software Without Consent

One such law is the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), which makes it a federal crime to intentionally intercept electronic communications without consent.

Does Apple cover a lost iPhone? ›

Theft and loss coverage is included with AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss for iPhone and provides up to two incidents of theft or loss coverage every 12 months.

Can an iPhone get blacklisted? ›

Phones are blacklisted for two reasons: 1) they are out of spec on performance or 2) they have been reported stolen (which is likely the reason here). Since it's an iPhone, it was likely registered with a another iCloud ID and password.

Can Apple find a lost iPhone? ›

Use the Find My app or iCloud.com/find to help locate a lost iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac. If you can't find it or think it might be stolen, you can lock it to protect your information.

What happens if you take a stolen iPhone to Apple? ›

Apple will only replace an iPhone if you had AppleCare+ theft and loss plan, and you had "Find My" turned on in that device. Without AppleCare theft and loss Apple will not replace the device.

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