Suspect Arrested In Connection With 1987 Cold Case Murder Of Missouri Woman

Police say solving the cold case is a “shining example of the importance of never giving up” and “pursuing justice relentlessly.”

At the end of June 1987, 22-year-old Karla Jane Delcour, pictured here, was found murdered in Franklin County. Her case wasn't solved until 2019.

The 35-year-old mystery of who killed 22-year-old Karla Jane Delcour and dumped her body in a wooded area in Missouri has been solved after a man recently pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, authorities said.

Photo by: Franklin County Sheriff's Office

Franklin County Sheriff's Office

By: Aaron Rasmussen

The 35-year-old mystery of who killed a woman and dumped her body in a wooded area in Missouri has been solved after a man recently pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, authorities said.

At the end of June 1987, Karla Jane Delcour, 22, was found dead in Franklin County. A cord bound her neck and wrists.

An investigation determined Delcour likely was killed by strangulation at a home in Union several days earlier.

Kirby R. King, now 68, was initially named a person of interest and questioned, but police never were able to charge him — or anyone else — with murder, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

In 2018, investigators with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office reopened the cold case and reinterviewed several key witnesses in multiple states, according to KSDK.

In December 2019, King was living in Texas when investigators identified him as the main suspect in Delcour’s death, and they placed him under arrest for second-degree murder. Law enforcement officials did not disclose what evidence led them to charge him in the then-32-year-old case.

According to the Post-Dispatch, King became acquainted with the victim through mutual friends.

On June 2, King pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter as well as felonious restraint.

“The dedication, perseverance, and exceptional investigative skills have brought justice to a crime committed 35 years ago,” Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton said, KSDK reported.

“The tireless efforts in unraveling the truth and meticulously piecing together the puzzle have not only provided closure to the victim's family but have also made a significant impact on the community.”

The investigation, Pelton added, “serves as a shining example of the importance of never giving up and the profound impact that can be made by pursuing justice relentlessly.”

King is scheduled to be sentenced on July 12.

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