- Associated Press - Monday, May 30, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - Kansas City, Kansas, investigators say they have identified a potential suspect in the 26-year-old unsolved murder of a 19-year-old woman they believe is linked to an unresolved Missouri slaying five years later.

The Kansas City Star (https://bit.ly/1THpTxK ) reports that detectives perhaps have a link between the 1989 killing of Sarah Jo DeLeon, the unsolved 1994 slaying of Diana Marie Ault in Independence, Missouri, and an abduction in 1987.

Investigators aren’t saying why they believe the deaths of DeLeon and Ault are connected. But Detective Scott Howard said the investigation has revealed that the suspect and an accomplice have been involved in other incidents involving the harassment and intimidation of romantic rivals.

Another detective, Mike Warczakoski, said he hopes to present the case in coming weeks to Wyandotte County prosecutors.

“We’re coming to a conclusion,” Howard said. “We can see an end.”

DeLeon, a student at a local community college, suffered a head wound and was repeatedly stabbed before her body was dumped along railroad tracks near Interstate 435 on the city’s western edge. DeLeon’s car was found earlier that morning, with the door open and the flashers on under a freeway overpass about a mile from her home.

No blood or evidence of a struggle was seen around her car, police said at the time, and there was no indication of sexual assault.

Ault, 26, was shot to death in January 1994 inside her Independence, Missouri, home, surrounded by her crying 4-year-old son and 6-month-old daughter.

Police found her car and a gun thought to be the murder weapon at a nearby church. Ault and her husband had told investigators they had received threatening phone calls, mostly from a woman.

New DNA collection and testing technology prompted police to reopen the DeLeon case in July 2014, Warczakoski said.


Information from: The Kansas City Star, https://www.kcstar.com

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