PERRY COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania State Police say the homicide suspect in a Perry County cold case has been arrested and the victim has been positively identified.
On May 27, 2014, State Police and the Perry County Coroner’s office began investigating the discovery of human skeletal remains with a gunshot wound located in the area of Idle Road on State Game Lands in Rye Township.
The victim was examined by a Forensic Anthropologist and members of the Mercyhurst University Forensic Scene Recovery Team and determined to be a white male, between 45-70 years of age and standing approximately 5’11”-6’6” tall. way of a gunshot wound to the head.
In October 2022, Perry County District Attorney Lauren Eichelberger was awarded grant money to help identify the victim. Several items collected from the victim were forwarded to Othram Labs, located in Texas, to complete a DNA analysis and genealogy study.
State Police say a distant family member of the victim was identified in February 2023 and through a DNA comparison, investigators were able to positively identify the victim as Michael Allen Holober. Holober would have been 47 years old at the time the remains were discovered.
State Police say Holober was living in the Strasburg, Virginia area in 2012 and had disappeared around that time.
Troopers investigators worked closely with Detectives from the Strasburg Police Department (Virginia) and allege Holober had been shot and killed by an acquaintance, James Callahan, at a residence in Strasburg, VA. State Police say Callahan allegedly transported Holober’s body to Pennsylvania where he was discarded and eventually found by a hiker in May 2014.
State Police say due to the homicide occurring in Virginia, the investigation was relinquished to Virginia authorities. Callahan was arrested and charged on September 26 in Virginia.