The Orlando Police Department is proud to announce they have finally made an arrest in an unsolved murder case dating back to 2001. The police were able to positively match the DNA left at the crime scene to the suspect using information from a genealogy website.
On November 5, police announced the arrest of Benjamin Holmes for the slaying of Christine Franke, a student at the University of Central Florida. Back in 2001, Franke was shot directly in the skull during an ongoing robbery. Authorities successfully collected DNA from the crime scene, and investigators spent months analyzing nearly 100 different DNA samples from potential suspects.
The case went unsolved for years until Orlando Police learned about the newest form of matching DNA using genealogy websites. Investigators teamed up with a genealogist and learned that three of Holmes’ relatives had voluntarily given their DNA to a genealogy site. Investigators utilized this information to show a link between the killer’s profile and the direct family members of Holmes. The police were eventually able to narrow down the suspect to Benjamin. Undercover agents successfully obtained the suspect’s DNA from trashed cigars and a beer can to positively make the match before formerly charging him.
On November 2nd, Holmes was taken into custody under the suspicion of first-degree murder with a firearm and robbery with a firearm. This arrest is the 15th time that such tactics have confirmed a DNA match and led to an arrest in the county. After 17 years, authorities and family members of Christine Franke can finally get some closure on this formerly unsolved case.