Investigators say they found the man who shot an 18-year-old high school graduate six times in the head. Larry Allen West was arrested Thursday for murder, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced.
Authorities said Carol Joyce Deleon, 18, graduated from Thomas Edison High School in San Antonio, Texas, on May 28, 1981. Days later, on June 3, she went to a local nightclub. She was found shot to death along Interstate 35 in Comal County, Texas, on June 4, 1984, but investigators were unable to identify her, even after checking her fingerprints and referring to nearby missing persons reports.
“She was buried in New Braunfels, TX as a Jane Doe,” Texas DPS wrote.
Authorities were able to identify Deleon in 2009 using DNA technology.
Investigators claim the break in the case came after new testing of DNA found on Deleon’s body led them to West, according to KENS5. Authorities said there were no signs of sexual assault, although some of her clothing had been removed.
The Texas Rangers visited West at his workplace in Converse, Texas, and he voluntarily gave them a swab of his DNA, authorities said in documents obtained by the outlet.
He reportedly said he routinely went to local bars in Bexar County to pick up younger women, but he denied any involvement in Deleon’s death. The DNA found on the victim’s body and under her fingernails reportedly told a different story.
“Larry Allen West could not be ruled out as the foreign contributor to this DNA profile,” the warrant reportedly said. “The probability of selecting an unrelated person at random who could be the contributor to this alien DNA profile is approximately one in 422.1 quintillion.”
According to investigators, West’s ex-wife said he was a violent person. His first spouse claimed he repeatedly assaulted and raped her during their just 30-day marriage.
“We have suffered for over 40 years without knowing what happened to my sister,” Carol’s sister, Sandra Deleon, told the newspaper. “The potential of what she could have been, what she could have been, will never be known. We were robbed of that, she was robbed of that.”
West posted a $125,000 bond Thursday.
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