David Edward Hollowell, 52, was arrested on July 21, 2023 for a violent home invasion rape on April 14, 2003 in Charlestown, Indiana.
The 13-year old victim was sexually assaulted in her bedroom by an unknown male wearing a ski mask. Her stepfather broke into the room to assist her, and was shot in the head by the intruder. He managed to recover, but after another accident his quality of life declined significantly. The victim had to flee her home with no clothes on to seek assistance from a neighbour.
The victim’s mother approached police in 2020 after a similar shooting and asked them to reopen the investigation.
A DNA profile of the suspect was obtained from semen found on a pair of jeans. The FGG investigation was conducted by Parabon Nanolabs in partnership with the Charlestown Police Department. The investigation was funded by Season of Justice. Hollowell has two brothers, one of whom had his DNA sampled at a traffic stop and from a door handle at his workplace. Kinship testing indicated that the suspect was a full sibling.
Another suspect was arrested and charged sometime after the offence in 2003, but was exonerated in September of 2003 when he was excluded as a contributor to the DNA found at the crime scene. News reports stated that more than one person was arrested for this offence, but there are no further details at the time of writing.
Hollowell’s bond was set at $250,000, due to the fact that he is a flight risk. He is facing charges of attempted murder, burglary, rape, and child molestation in Clark County Circuit Court. On July 27, 2023, the court denied Hollowell’s defence motion to exclude evidence of his DNA profile as police obtained his DNA profile without a warrant. His trial is set for January 9, 2024.
Battista, Christie. “‘A Rewarding Feeling’. Detective Gets Emotional While Discussing Arrest in 20-Year-Old Rape Case.” WDRB.com, July 28, 2023. Accessed July 29, 2023. https://www.wdrb.com/news/crime-reports/a-rewarding-feeling-detective-gets-emotional-while-discussing-arrest-in-20-year-old-rape-case/article_f84b6f52-2d69-11ee-8f21-eb74afe348c0.html.
Arjona, Helena. “Judge Allows Use of DNA Evidence that Led to Arrest in a 20-Year-Old Charlestown Rape Case.” WLKY News, July 27, 2023. Accessed July 29, 2023. https://www.wlky.com/article/indiana-david-hollowell-dna-evidence-20-year-old-rape-case/44666512.
McCafee, Brooke. “Suspect Faces Charges related to 2003 Charlestown Cold Case.” News and Tribune, July 28, 2023. Accessed July 29, 2023. https://www.newsandtribune.com/news/suspect-faces-charges-related-to-2003-charlestown-cold-case/article_9a7dd076-2d7e-11ee-98ec-b7e3175d940f.html.
WLKY News. “DNA Leads to Charges in 20-Year-Old Cold Case Rape, Shooting in Southern Indiana.” WLKY News, July 21, 2023. Accessed July 29, 2023. https://www.wlky.com/article/charlestown-indiana-rape-cold-case-arrest-holloway/44612299.