Published January 13, 2017
Federal authorities say a man charged in the 1999 abduction and sexual assault of a southern Indiana girl assumed the identity of a car crash victim and lived for years in Minnesota and Oregon until he was arrested this week.
Investigators tracked down 61-year-old Charles Hollin to Salem, Oregon, after he was identified through facial recognition software of his passport photograph, U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said Friday at a news conference.
Hollin faces federal charges of identity theft and fleeing prosecution, with court documents saying he had disappeared from southern Indiana's Jackson County by the time prosecutors filed charges in early 2000 against him in the abduction and assault of a 10-year-old girl.
Hollin assumed the identity of Andrew David Hall, who was 8 years old when he died due to a 1975 crash in Fayette County, Kentucky, and was buried in southern Indiana, according to an FBI affidavit. Hollin obtained an $80,000 home equity loan in 1999 and a person using Hall's identity obtained a Minnesota driver's license in 2001 before moving to Oregon in 2011.
Minkler said FBI agents had reviewed Hollin's disappearance frequently over the years without success until linking him to the photograph with the passport in Hall's name.
"Facial recognition technology, clearly, was the break in the case that we were looking for," Minkler said. "It is a tremendous law enforcement technique used to bring people to justice."
Hollin was arrested at a Wal-Mart store in Salem where he worked and admitted his true identity, federal officials said. Minkler said he didn't know whether Hollin had family in Oregon and that investigators would be checking for any similar unsolved crimes in Minnesota and Oregon.
Hollin was being brought to Indiana on Friday by federal agents and will be turned over to Jackson County authorities soon to face prosecution on felony charges of child molestation and confinement, Minkler said.
Court records didn't list an attorney for Hollin who could comment on his behalf.
Hollin is charged with abducting the child at knifepoint from outside a Seymour girl's club in 1999, taking her to a secluded area and molesting her before leaving her naked along an isolated road about 50 miles south of Indianapolis. DNA tests linked Hollin to the attack, according to court documents.
He faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted of the most serious of the charges.
Jackson County Prosecutor AmyMarie Travis said the victim's father told her that his daughter was doing well and was relieved by Hollin's arrest.
"I, of course, was concerned about how it would affect her mentally and emotionally to reopen these type of wounds," Travis said. "But he said the main emotion that he noticed in her was relief."