Israeli Police Arrest Second Suspect in 2006 Murder, After DNA Evidence Revives Cold Case

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Clara Rabin, who was murdered in 2006
Clara Rabin, who was murdered in 2006Credit: Israel Police

Israeli police arrested another suspect in the 2006 murder of Clara Rabin, a week after announcing the identification of a suspect in that murder through DNA evidence.

The second suspect is an Ashdod resident in his 50s. The police are not saying what he is suspected of.

Last week, the police announced the arrest of Oleg Dolya, 54, who had been arrested in the past for other offenses but whose DNA sample had not been collected. Police identified Dolya by cross-referencing DNA from the murder scene with DNA of his relative, who was arrested several months ago for an unrelated crime. Dolya denied having any connection to Rabin and all allegations against him. His detention was extended until June 22.

Rabin was 67 when she died in 2006. Her son found her lifeless body in her Ashdod apartment. The two were meant to attend a family event together and the son came to her apartment with his wife after his mother hadn't answered the phone for several hours.

When he arrived, Rabin was bleeding and her autopsy showed signs of stabbing and strangulation. Police suspected that it had been a robbery gone wrong. Rabin had spoken openly about large amounts of money she and her husband kept in the apartment, which police suspect led Dolya to the scene.

The police managed to find Dolya due to a development in methods for locating suspects through DNA samples, commonly used by investigative agencies around the world. This method helped convict Daniel Nahmani for the murder of Noa Eyal 20 years earlier, as well as charging Valeri Sakowitz with the murder of Vardit Bakraknot, 26 years later.

After police identified a similarity between his DNA and the sample taken from his relative, investigators began looking into Dolya's connection to the incident. Police managed to obtain a DNA sample from Oleg before arresting him and without his knowledge that he was being investigated in relation to that murder. Police refuse to divulge how they obtained the sample. Police arrested Dolya on May 24, after his DNA was found to match DNA at the scene. Police did not say if they had other evidence, saying only that the location where the DNA was found points to Dolya's involvement.

Police added that Dolya could not account for the presence of his DNA in Rabin's apartment.

Dolya's DNA had not been collected following previous arrests because the offenses he had been arrested for did not legally warrant taking a DNA sample. Only in 2014, when the police already had a bank of 300,000 DNA samples, did the Knesset approve expanding the range of violations for which DNA collection was permitted.

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