BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A man has pleaded guilty for helping his friend kill his wife for life insurance. He might have gone free, if not for a DNA match.

Mike Hellgren has more on how police made the connection.

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This reads like a movie script with money, murder and lies. This man thought he got away with it all—until an arrest in another case led police right to his door.

Dellendo Campbell’s guilty plea in federal court connects the missing link in a bizarre murder plot dating back five years to a field in Kent County where prosecutors say Campbell drove with his buddy from the Navy, Ryan Holness, and his buddy’s wife, Serika Dunkley. Dunkley had been living in New York with their two kids. Prosecutors said Holness had numerous girlfriends and was done with his wife so he took out a life insurance policy and lured her to the field to kill her and make it look like a carjacking.

“He said, as they stopped for gas along the New Jersey Turnpike, they were accosted by a suspect wearing a ski mask, a black hooded sweatshirt and gloves,” said Greg Shipley, Maryland State police.

But there was no masked man. Prosecutors say Holness stabbed his wife dozens of times while Campbell drove off in their car and dumped it in Washington DC. Holness even cut himself and even fled to a nearby farmhouse to make it all look real.

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“He was basically just running through the field,” said Robert Rolfe, whose parents called 911. “He had a big old gash in his arm, my father said.”

Three years ago, Holness was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, but police still didn’t know who drove the getaway car. They did take DNA evidence and entered it into a federal database.

When Campbell was arrested recently for domestic violence in California, police there took his DNA and it proved a match to the Maryland murder. He admitted to being an accomplice and the plea deal will cause him to spend 30 years in prison, pending the judge’s approval.

Dellendo Campbell will be sentenced in November.

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