The cigarette helps the police nab suspect in brutal stabbing death of neighbor

Michael Henslick, 30, has been charged with the murder of Holly Cassano, who was found dead in her mobile home in Mahomet, Illinois on Nov. 2, 2009.

(Champaign County Jail)

A discarded cigarette has helped Illinois authorities traces of a man who is suspected of the brutal murder of a woman in 2009, according to police.

BREAKING NEWS: @ChampCoSheriff announced early Wednesday morning that an arrest has been made in 2009 of the murder of Holly Cassano:

— The News-Gazette (@news_gazette) August 29, 2018

Michael Henslick, 30, was identified as the man who is accused of murdering the 22-year-old Holly Cassano, almost nine years ago, the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

Cassano was found dead in her mobile home in Mahomet, Ill., on Nov. 2, 2009. She had been stabbed 60 times and sexually assaulted, according to police reports.

“I still have problems with sleeping because of it,” said Toni Cassano, who found her daughter bloody body that day, the News-Gazette of Champaign reported. “I don’t know why. That is my biggest unanswered question.”

Since then, the police said that they relentlessly pursued the case, conducting more than 100 interviews and testing “dozens” of DNA samples, the News-Gazette reported.

Authorities have DNA evidence found at the place of Cassano the murder online genealogical databases, and the public registers before identifying Henslick as a suspect, the sheriff’s office said in a Wednesday press conference.

The deputies watched Henslick for two days trying to obtain DNA evidence, authorities said. He was eventually seen to discard a used cigarette, which the police recovered and sent to a laboratory for testing. Henslick DNA compared with the DNA evidence of the crime, the sheriff’s office said.

Henslick was arrested Tuesday around 6:15 pm outside the Market Place Mall in Champaign and booked into the Champaign County Jail on a $10 million bond, according to the release.

Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh said Henslick lived in the same mobile home park as Cassano, attended the same high school for a few years, and had mutual acquaintances. He added that Henslick was in and out of prison several times since Cassano’s murder.

Henslick was arraigned Wednesday afternoon and charged with four counts of first-degree murder, WAND-TV Decatur, Illl., reported.

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.

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