A Kansas woman has been arrested for a murder that happened almost 30 years ago.
On the afternoon of Oct. 19, the U.S. Marshals Service in Smithville, Kansas took 48-year-old Carolyn J. Heckert into custody in connection with the 1989 cold case homicide of Sarah DeLeon, reports the Daily Mail.
The 27-year old case was reopened in July 2014, prompted by new DNA collection and testing technology.
DeLeon’s body was found dumped along railroad tracks near the western edge of Kansas City, Kansas. on Dec. 29, 1989. She had suffered a head wound and been stabbed multiple times. Her car was found earlier that morning about a mile from her home. No blood or evidence was found at her car and there were no signs of a sexual assault.
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The victim was last seen around 1 a.m. at the house of her boyfriend, who had also been in a relationship with Heckert, reports KMBC. Heckert was reportedly also in a relationship with the husband of another murder victim, Diana Ault, who was shot to death in Independence, Missouri in 1994. Authorities suspect the two cases are related. The Ault case was reopened at the same time as the DeLeon case, though there have been no further developments regarding the former.
Ault, 26, had just returned home from a Superbowl watch party on January 31, 1994 when she was shot to death in her kitchen. Her husband, Tim, told KMBC in 2004 that he was having an affair with another woman at the time of his wife’s murder. The other woman, he said, was a co-worker of his at the post office, which was also where Heckert was working at the time, though he did not identify his mistress by name.
The Ault and DeLeon families have long suspected that the two murder cases are related, and have held joint commemorative ceremonies for the women.
Heckert is awaiting extradition from a Clay County Detention Center in Missouri, where she is being held on $1 million bond.