Police May Have Suspect in 1989, 1994 Cold Cases

Murder of Sarah Jo DeLeon may be linked to slaying of Diana Marie Ault 2 years earlier
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2016 5:19 PM CDT
Police May Have Suspect in 1989, 1994 Cold Cases
Sarah DeLeon was 19 when she was found murdered in 1989.   (DeLeon family)

They aren't naming names yet, but police detectives in Kansas City, Kan., say they have identified a suspect in the unsolved murder of Sarah Jo DeLeon, who was 19 when her body was found in 1989. What's more, they say the suspect is a woman from the area, and that she may be linked to two other cold cases—the murder of Diana Marie Ault in Independence, Mo., in 1994, and an unsolved abduction in Kansas City in 1987, reports the Kansas City Star. "The investigation has revealed that the suspect and an accomplice have been involved in other incidents involving the harassment and intimidation of romantic rivals," Detective Scott Howard says. "We're coming to a conclusion."

The Kansas City police department reopened the case in 2014 with new DNA collection and testing technology, and have spent more than $50,000 on trying to crack the DeLeon case. The teen community college student was found along railroad tracks with a head wound and multiple stab wounds, and her car was found with its door open and hazards flashing about a mile from her home, but there was no evidence of a struggle or sexual assault. Police say the suspect and possible accomplice have a motive that may involve romantic rivalry, reports CBS News. For now, investigators are asking the public for any leads on the "abduction by deception" in 1987 that involved tricking a woman out of her home and into a limousine that took her to an American Inn. "We believe that we can show a pattern of behavior that links this to the DeLeon homicide and other crimes," Howard says. (This notorious cold case also involved a female suspect.)

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