Woman arrested in Kansas teen's 1989 cold case slaying

Sarah Jo DeLeon


KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A woman has been arrested in the 26-year-old unsolved killing of another woman in Kansas City, Kansas.

CBS affiliate KCTV reports 48-year-old Carolyn J. Heckert was arrested in Clay County, Mo. Wednesday. She is being held on a $1 million bond in the killing of Sarah Jo DeLeon. The body of the 19-year-old college student was found by railroad tracks in 1989. She had sustained head trauma and multiple stab wounds.


Carolyn J. Heckert


New DNA collection and testing technology prompted police to reopen the DeLeon case in July 2014, and local investigators received assistance with the new forensic testing from the FBI, the station reported.

Kansas City, Kansas police said in May they had a suspect who was a woman, and that the motive may have been a romantic rivalry. They did not reveal the suspect’s name. At the time, they said the suspect had been involved in incidents involving the harassment and intimidation of romantic rivals.

Police investigators said at the time that they believe there is a link between DeLeon’s killing and the unsolved 1994 slaying of Diana Marie Ault in Independence, Missouri. Ault, 26, was reportedly shot to death in her home near her young children.

The Ault case remains open, investigators in Missouri told the station.

They also said they believed the two murders could be linked to a Feb. 13, 1987 abduction. In that case, they say a victim was tricked into leaving her home in a limousine and taken to the American Inn at 78th Street and Interstate 70 in Kansas City.

Investigators didn’t say why they believe the cases are connected.