Cold Case Warms Up with Break in 2009 Murder


Champaign County- A cold case is warming up because of new DNA evidence.

Holly Cassano was killed November 2, 2009 at the Candlewood Estates in Mahomet at the age of 22. Champaign County investigators worked tirelessly that day searching for evidence inside a home on the corner of Dupage in the mobile home park.

"She was in her home alone. . . Her infant child was actually with her mother who lives in the same mobile home park. Her mother discovered her the next morning and she had been stabbed multiple times," said Sheriff Dan Walsh of Champaign County. 

That day and years later evidence was compiled and interviews were conducted. However, nothing stuck and her killer, if not dead, remains on the loose.

"We would have liked to have someone in custody the day after it happened," Sheriff Walsh added.

"It's just sad what happened, but nobody knows the whole truth of course," said Hollie Macfarlane who lives in the Candlewood Estates.

Back in December of 2014 an investigator and a lieutenant with the department spent 45 days working on the case. Finally in September of 2015, there has been a break in the case that Sheriff Dan Walsh said he hopes will lead to an arrest.

Forensics have gotten more sophisticated. The crime department sent DNA to a private lab in Salt Lake City for another analysis.

"We recovered evidence that we are fairly certain is from the suspect," Sheriff Walsh told WAND. "Evidence that we sent to them belonged to someone with at least some Hispanic in their blood line or in their genetics."

Sheriff Walsh also said, recent tips have led to one old suspect and the department brought in three new people. He would not elaborate on who the old suspect is and who the other individuals are. 

Although, some are connected "to her family, her place of employment or the area where she lived," Sheriff Walsh said.

Four DNA samples went out recently and two came back negative. Investigators are now waiting on the other two results.

"Are those tips good? I don't know until we actually check them out and that's going to take a while," Sheriff Walsh said. "But really I would hope for us to have information and a week from today be talking to you saying we made an arrest."

In the end, all who know Cassano want "justice for holly. You know find out who the killer was and make them pay for what they did," said Macfarlane.
If you have any information regarding the death of Holly Cassano, please call 373-TIPS.

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