48-year-old Smith’sville Mo. woman arrested in cold case murder of a Kansas City college student
Carolyn J. Heckert arrested in 1989 stabbing death of college student, Sarah DeLeon
Cops said Sarah DeLeon’s body was dumped along railroad tracks near a highway in the western outskirts of Kansas City, Kan., on Dec. 29, 1989.
New DNA techniques aided authorities in solving identity of suspect in 27 year old murder mystery
Kansas City police catch a break in the 1989 murder of college student Sarah DeLeon (pictured). 48-year-old Carolyn Heckert has been arrested in connection with her death
U.S. Marshals arrested a 48-year-old woman in connection with the cold-case stabbing death of a Kansas City college student, 27 years ago.
Carolyn Heckert,who was 21 at the rime of the murder was charged, Thursday in connection with the murder of Sarah DeLeon, who was 18 when she was killed on December 29, 1989.
Heckert had been booked on a $1 million bond Wednesday afternoon in connection with the slaying of the teenage college student nearly three decades ago, according to Kansas City, Kan., police.
Kansas City, police charge sheet for Carolyn Heckert
The announcement of her arrest comes nearly five months after police said they had identified a female suspect involved with “the harassment and intimidation of romantic rivals.” KCK police reopened the case in July 2014, when detectives said new DNA evidence yielded leads.
Carolyn Heckert, was arrested in Clay County, Mo.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether investigators believe Heckert is the woman identified in the spring as a suspect in DeLeon’s killing and linked to another unsolved murder.
DeLeon, a recent high school graduate attending Kansas City Kansas Community College. Police said DeLeon had left her boyfriend’s house about 1 a.m. and was headed home.
She was discovered with stabbing wounds to her head and other parts of her body by train workers on Dec. 29, 1989.
Her car was found earlier that morning, with the door open and the flashers on, about a mile from her home under the Interstate 70 overpass at 78th Street. No blood or evidence of a struggle was seen around her car, police said at the time. There was no indication of sexual assault.
Sarah DeLeon was killed and her body dumped along railroad tracks near a highway in the western outskirts of Kansas City, Kan., just after Christmas on Dec. 29, 1989
KCK police said her body had been dumped along railroad tracks near I-435 and Wolcott Drive on the western outskirts of the city. Investigators found her black Ford Mustang a day earlier beneath an I-70 overhang about 10 miles away.
Detectives interviewed a possible suspect shortly after DeLeon’s death, but no one had been charged prior to Heckert’s arrest. Federal agents captured the woman around 3 p.m. in nearby Clay County, Mo., police said.
The suspect is currently in the Clay County, Mo., jail, awaiting extradition to Kansas
DeLeon’s loved ones have been holding regular vigils in her honor for years. Her brother, Matt DeLeon, described his older sister as “real outgoing” and “friends with everybody” in a 2014 interview with a local fox station.
“It’s hard to know that someone’s out there, living a life not deserved,” DeLeon said at the time. “And they’re walking free, and Sarah’s gone.”