Texas Police Identify Suspect In 1980s Cold Case Murder Of Teen Found Dead Days After Vanishing From Nightclub

caroldeleon sapd

Courtesy Texas Dept. of Public Safety;

Apr. 17 2023, Published 12:44 p.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email

A cold case in south Texas that's lasted more than 40 years may finally be solved, thanks to a mix of technologies.

Authorities in San Antonio said officers recently arrested Larry West, 68, on charges of murdering Carol Deleon in the early 1980s.

Deleon graduated from a San Antonio high school in May 1981. Six days later, she went to a nightclub and vanished.

Article continues below advertisement

Her body with gunshot wounds was found along Interstate 35 outside New Braunfels in June 1984, but authorities didn't realize who she was at the time. Her identity could not be confirmed.

According to KSAT-TV, DNA testing 25 years later confirmed that the young woman buried as a “Jane Doe” was Deleon.

More recent testing from Deleon's body uncovered DNA from someone else.


Guadalupe County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Joshua Ray told the Seguin Daily News that ancestral genealogy also was involved.

“Eventually they work with a genealogist and similar to what people see in their family trees,” said Ray, a former Texas Ranger. “ I had a couple of key persons of interest through that testing and then through that we narrowed down to the one person to focus.”

West denies killing Deleon and submitted to a DNA swab test.

West is free on $125,000 bond. A statement from the Texas Department of Public Safety says a grand jury will consider whether or not to indict him.


Become a Front Page Detective

Sign up to receive breaking
Front Page Detectives
news and exclusive investigations.

More Stories

Opt-out of personalized ads

© Copyright 2023 Empire Media Group, Inc. Front Page Detectives is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.