A murder case that has been unsolved for more than 40 years has led to the arrest of a San Antonio man.
According to an arrest warrant, Larry Allen West has been detained and charged with Carol Joyce Deleon’s murder.
Sandra Deleon, Carol’s sister, said, “We’ve suffered for more than 40 years not knowing what happened to my sister.” “We will never be able to fully understand the potential of what she might have been. Both she and we were defrauded of that.
On June 3, 1981, Deleon was last observed at a club in San Antonio. A few days prior to her passing, she had recently graduated from Thomas Edison High School, according to investigators.
The following day, a body was discovered on the grassy shoulder of Interstate 35 North close to a rest area in Comal County, south of New Braunfels.
According to Texas DPS at the time, investigators tried to identify the body using fingerprints and local missing person reports but were unsuccessful.
In New Braunfels, she was buried under the name “Jane Doe.” Texas DPS claims that it wasn’t until 2009 that she was recognized as Deleon.
According to an arrest warrant, Deleon had suffered six head wounds. Her neck had bruises on an autopsy, which led detectives to believe the suspect had been “forcibly holding or restraining the victim’s neck.”
Even though some of Deleon’s clothing had been removed, investigators found no signs of a sexual assault on Deleon.
Fingernail scrapings taken during the autopsy were used to create a DNA profile in 2010, which was 29 years after Deleon’s body was found. The CODIS system was used to search for matches, but the investigators were unsuccessful.
A second sample of DNA from Deleon’s body was taken in 2019, 38 years after the murder, and it matched the DNA from the scrapings under his fingernails.
After that, the DNA was used for genealogy research, which resulted in the identification of three potential suspects, including Larry Allen West.
West voluntarily provided investigators with a swab of his DNA when Texas Rangers visited him at work in Converse in November 2021, according to an arrest warrant.
In accordance with police records, West admitted to agents that he frequently visited Bexar County bars in 1981 in order to meet younger women. He denied any involvement in Deleon’s murder.
After receiving the DNA analysis report identifying West as the best match, Texas Ranger investigators claimed they had a breakthrough in the case last month. According to the report, the likelihood that the DNA discovered on Deleon’s body came from someone else was essentially zero.
The arrest warrant quotes the detectives as saying that Larry Allen West could not be ruled out as the foreign contributor to this DNA profile. The likelihood of choosing a stranger at random to be the source of this foreign DNA profile is roughly one in 422.1 quintillion.
“To know that she fought such a violent death at the end, she fought so hard for her life, it’s just heartbreaking,” Sandra remarked.
Investigators also spoke with West’s ex-wives, who painted a violent picture of West. In accordance with an arrest warrant, West’s first wife allegedly admitted to investigators that she had only been married to him for 30 days during which time he repeatedly beat and sexually assaulted her.
Sandra claimed that she has spent the last 40 years fighting for the truth about her sister’s murder and that her faith in God is what keeps her going every day. She’s hoping for final resolution.
“This is his chance, before he leaves this Earth, to make his peace, come forth, and give the rest of the family peace,” Sandra said. “I am confident that justice will be served in some way.”
Online court records indicate that West was detained on Thursday. $125,000 was set as his bond amount.
West posted bond on Friday and was let go from custody.
West will be back in court in May for a pre-trial hearing.