When David Holland gave a voluntary DNA sample last month to help police link his brother to a decades-old unsolved murder, he apparently didn't know it would land him in jail, too.
Investigators suspected Holland's brother Christopher in the 1983 rape and murder of a Santa Clara County, Calif., teenager. Unable to find Christopher, they asked his two brothers for DNA samples last month to try to tie Christopher to the crime.
But when lab technicians entered David Holland's DNA into the county DNA database, they found something unexpected: His genetic profile matched evidence from another unsolved crime, the 2001 rape of an 81-year-old woman, according to Assistant District Attorney David Tomkins.
David Holland, 46, was taken into custody on Friday. Both brothers now face possible life in prison if convicted.
"My guess is he probably would have gotten away with" the rape if he had not voluntarily given the DNA sample, Tomkins said.
"I have to assume he didn't expect this to happen," he said.
Earlier this year the district attorney's cold case squad, which is shutting down next year, began looking into the unsolved murder of 17-year-old Cynthia Munoz, who was raped and stabbed to death in 1983.
When investigators began focusing on 53-year-old Christopher Holland, he disappeared, Tomkins said. They then asked Holland's two brothers for DNA samples.
The DNA of David's other brother Kenneth closely matched DNA from evidence collected at the time of Munoz' rape, suggesting one of his close relatives was the perpetrator, Tomkins said.
David Holland was not a close match to Christopher. "Much to his surprise," David Holland and his brothers have different fathers, Tomkins said.
The DNA match with Kenneth prompted police to get an arrest warrant for Christopher Holland in the Munoz murder, and he was arrested last month.
Both Christopher and David Holland have pleaded not guilty.