A 55-year-old man who had been serendipitously identified as a suspect in a 2006 murder through a DNA sample taken from a relative was given a prison sentence on Tuesday.
The Be’er Sheva District court sentenced Oleg Dolya to 27 years in prison in a plea bargain for the murder of Clara Rabin in her Ashdod home. The police were able to link him to the crime 14 years later by comparing the DNA of a relative ‒ who was arrested a few months prior for an unrelated crime ‒ with the DNA found under Rabin's fingernails at the crime scene.
Dolya had been arrested in the past for other crimes, but a DNA sample had never been taken from him. Before Dolya's arrest for Rabin's murder, police managed to obtain a DNA sample from him through a "training exercise" without his knowledge that he was being investigated for murder; the police refused to elaborate on this effort.
After his DNA matched that of the samples taken from the crime scene, he was arrested in May of last year. He initially denied the allegations against him but later recanted, confessed to the murder, reenacted it to the police and named an accomplice, Igor Kosiak.
The murder took place during a break-in at Rabin's apartment on the night of August 22, 2006. Kosiak, a relative of Rabin, told Dolya that there was a great deal of money in Rabin’s apartment and that her husband was abroad.
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Dolya was armed with a pocketknife, and broke into the apartment by climbing up its window grates. Rabin, who had been sleeping on the couch in the living room, awoke and stood up. Dolya then stabbed her seven times and choked her. Rabin attempted to fight for her life, as shown by the cuts she sustained on her fingers.
Kosiak was initially charged with negligent homicide, but was convicted on a plea bargain of acting as an accomplice to a home invasion. In March, he was sentenced to 40 days in prison.
Before Dolya was arrested, the police were able to take a DNA sample by a subterfuge whose nature they declined to disclose, while he was unaware that he was under investigation for murder. After a match was found between Dolya’s DNA and that found at the scene, he was arrested on May 24, 2020. At first he denied involvement in the murder, but he subsequently confessed, reenacted the crime for police and named Kosiak as his accomplice.
Tal Adir Cohen of the southern district prosecution said that Dolya "Took responsibility and confessed; he had managed to escape the clutches of the law for 14 years, and if it were not for the identification of the DNA left under the fingernails of the deceased, he would have gone on with his life without punishment for the cruel murder.”