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Originally published by on March 23, 2015

Christopher Melvin Holland is being sought on a no-bail arrest warrant in the August 1983 murder of Cynthia Munoz. Photo courtesy of Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office

A former South Bay man could face life in prison without parole after a jury found him guilty of rape and first-degree murder in the death of a teenage girl more than 30 years ago, prosecutors said.

Christopher Holland, 59, was tied to the killing of 17-year-old Cynthia Munoz of San Jose by DNA evidence provided by his brother, said Christopher Walsh, Santa Clara County deputy district attorney.

On Aug. 7, 1983, Munoz was found raped, strangled, and stabbed to death in her home in Campbell. Holland and a friend were regular visitors to the home in Campbell where Munoz lived with her boyfriend — whom she had visited in the hospital just before her death — and his mother, prosecutors said.

Police collected DNA evidence from the scene, but technology in the early 1980s could not provide a match to the defendant, Walsh said.

To link Holland to the crime, investigators got DNA samples from two of his brothers. He was arrested in October 2007 while hiding in a closet at a San Jose apartment.

During his trial, four other women testified that Holland used a knife and choked them during unreported rapes, Walsh said.

“Cynthia Munoz’s family has waited 31 years to find justice for her cruel and senseless death,” he said in a statement. “Today a jury held Christopher Holland accountable for her murder and (has) hopefully given Cynthia’s loved ones some measure of peace.”

Holland has also been charged with the 1983 rape and murder of another young woman, 21-year-old San Jose resident Tara Marowski, who was found dead four months before Munoz. Those charges were severed from the Munoz case, Walsh said, and Holland is expected to stand trial on them at some point in the near future.

In a bizarre twist, Christopher Holland’s brother David Holland was arrested after the DNA sample linked him to the 2001 rape of an 81-year-old San Jose woman, authorities said. David Holland was convicted in that case and is serving a life sentence in state prison.

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