Genealogy database match leads police to 2001 murder suspect

Christina Franke was murdered in her Orlando apartment in 2001.
Florida Cold Case Solved
Florida cold case murder solved

ORLANDO, Fla. (WTHR) - A Florida mother has closure nearly two decades after her daughter was killed.

Police in Orlando arrested Benjamin Holmes for the 2001 murder of University of Central Florida student Christine Franke. Franke was killed in her apartment and her family has been waiting for answers ever since.

Benjamin Holmes

"Just having it settled in our minds and knowing he's behind bars, and can't hurt anybody else...I would want that for anybody," said Franke's mother Tina.

Police say Holmes left DNA at Franke's apartment, but it never matched anyone in the national database.

"His luck was he never committed a crime that required him to submit his DNA," said Orlando Police Det. Michael Fields.

But detectives were recently able to pin Holmes down by running the DNA sample through a genealogy database with a company called Parabon NanoLabs. That same company has helped solve several cold cases this year, including the 1988 murder of a Fort Wayne girl.

Parabon matched DNA from the murder of April Tinsley to the man now charged in the case, John Miller. He is set to go to trial in February.

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