Channel 4 has confirmed through an incident report that a tracking device was found on a car that belongs to Ashley Judd.
Investigators aren't saying much about who might have planted the GPS device, but experts say it could signal a dangerous breach of security.
The police department began an investigation after a teenager brought a car connected to Judd to Quick Muffler in Franklin and said there was concern it had a tracking device.
The car was a Mini Cooper, and the owner of the muffler shop said the GPS device was in a big black box with a sponge and was connected to the car with a magnet.
Judd told police she did not place the GPS there and did not authorize anyone to put it there.
Now, there are questions whether a crime was committed.
"There is something called unconsensual contact, and that can be an element of stalking, which is a crime, and it can be an element of harassment, which is a crime," said defense attorney and former prosecutor Jim Todd. "However, those crimes require other elements - that the victim be placed in fear."
Todd says the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled this type of act is an invasion of privacy, but that's a civil matter.
Now, police are determining if this civil matter has risen to the level of a crime.
"It points a big red flag, and if law enforcement can determine who placed it on there, where it is registered, it could be enough to get a search warrant for their house and find out just what sort of information they have or what they've been doing," Todd said.
Franklin police officials say this is a closed investigation despite the worldwide media interest, and Deputy Chief Mike Jordan has been suspended for leaking details of the ongoing investigation.
A well-known local private detective said there are often fingerprints on these devices that could give police further leads, and if the device involves a SIM card, that could lead detectives to a name.
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