FBI: Facial recognition software helps ID Indiana cold-case fugitive

SALEM, Ore. — An Indiana man who fled his home state after being suspected of molesting a 10 year old girl in 1999 has been arrested in Salem, according to the FBI.

Charles Hollin, 61, was arrested at his job at a Walmart on Tuesday after fleeing the central Indiana area 17 years ago.

It was facial recognition software used by the FBI that found Hollin. The FBI in December confirmed a "most likely" facial match of Hollin with Andrew David Hall, the alias he had been using in Salem, according to a complaint affidavit provided by the FBI. Hollin, as Hall, applied for a U.S. passport in 2007 to travel to China

Investigators suspect Hollin molested a 10 year old girl in 1999. He asked for the girl's help in Seymour, Ind., to retrieve keys from his locked car.

When the girl approached his vehicle, Hollin allegedly placed his hand over her mouth, threatened to kill her at knifepoint and put her into the car, according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Hollin is thought to have covered the girl's face with a stocking mask, driven to a secluded area, sexually molested her, and then abandoned her naked on an isolated road.

He threw her belongings out of the window as he drove away. The girl was later found and rescued by a passing driver.

Within four months of the kidnapping and molestation incident, Hollin obtained an $80,000 home equity loan and applied for an Indiana driver’s license under the name of Andrew David Hall. Hall was an 8-year-old boy who died in a car crash in Kentucky in 1975.

On Feb. 2, 2000, the Jackson County, Ind., prosecutor filed charges against Hollin: two counts of confinement with a deadly weapon and three counts of child molestation. Hollin disappeared before investigators could arrest him.

On Aug. 20, 2001, Hollin is thought to have moved to Minnesota and used his Indiana driver’s license with Hall's name to obtain a Minnesota driver’s license, according to the affidavit.

April Diane Mobley, a friend of Hollin from Indiana, was surprised to hear of his arrest.

"I am in total shock, but I'm glad they got him. I would hate to think if he did this to somebody else," Mobley said.

Mobley's husband, James, 68, used to work with Hollin at Cummins Engine Co., where they helped build motors for automobiles.

April Mobley said Hollin would often visit the couple in their home in the evenings after work to chat and spend some time with the family.

"He was happy-go-lucky Charlie and was a really nice guy," Mobley said. "He always dressed nice and always had his Bible with him"

Hollin was clutching his black, leather-bound Bible against his chest when he visited Mobley while she was working at a Walmart in Seymour in 2000, the last day she saw him.

"He came in to talk to me for a bit, asked how I was doing and said, 'See you later,' " Mobley said.

A couple of days later, while Mobley was thumbing through a local newspaper, she saw a sketch of Hollin and an article detailing law enforcement's investigation into the child molestation charges and search for the suspect.

"I was in total shock and could not believe it," Mobley said. "All I could think of is what the heck happened, and whether he had done that to his daughters."

In 2007, a federal warrant was issued for Hollin's arrest on charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Jeremy Foster of Salem said he worked the overnight shift with Hollin in 2008 at the Walmart in Salem.

"He was a quiet guy and he never really talked about anything personal," Foster said. "He was a private person when it came to himself."

Leslee Wright, senior manager for Walmart Corporate Communications, would not comment on Hollin's length of employment but said he is no longer with the company.

"We’re cooperating with the FBI in their investigation,” Wright said in an email statement.

While it's unclear when Hollin moved from Minnesota to Oregon, he obtained an Oregon driver’s license on March 29, 2011, according to the complaint.

Investigators said Hollin's friends and co-workers in Indiana said he admitted to having fake hair pieces and mustaches and knew other tricks to disguise himself.

One Indiana co-worker said Hollin once bragged, “If you want to, and know how, you can become someone else, just like that, real easy.” Hollin is currently in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service in Portland. He will be returned to Indiana to face charges.

He could face eight years in prison if he's convicted on the federal charges and decades of imprisonment if convicted on the Jackson County charges, according to the Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley P. Shepard, who is prosecuting the case.

Statesman Journal


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