Texas Rangers Make Arrest in 42-Year-Old Cold Case Murder

Carol Joyce Deleon
Carol Joyce Deleon(Texas Department of Public Safety)
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 5:31 PM CDT
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AUSTIN – According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Rangers arrested 68-year-old Larry Allen West on April 13, for the murder of 18-year-old Carol Joyce Deleon.

West was linked to the killing through new evidence in the case that was subjected to Advanced DNA testing under the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative program which is funded by the Department of Justice and Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Back in June of 1981, an unidentified body of a teenage woman was found along IH-35, and an autopsy determined the victim died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head. The efforts to identify the woman were unsuccessful, and she was eventually buried as a Jane Doe, according to Texas DPS.

According to a press release from the Texas Department of Public Safety, in May 2008, the Texas Rangers reviewed the case file and discovered Deleon had only been reported missing to the San Antonio Police Department in 2007.

Deleon was found to have resided in the West Avenue area of San Antonio and had graduated from Thomas Edison High School in 1981. The family had attempted to file a missing person report back then, but because she was 18 and no foul play was noted at the time, a report was not taken. Deleon had also told the family she would be moving away once she turned 18 and the family had assumed she had followed through. However, after years of not hearing from her, Deleon’s youngest sister decided to file the missing persons report in 2007, 26 years after the last time the family had heard from her.

Texas Rangers met with her family and provided a photo of the Jane Doe. The family recognized her and further family DNA testing confirmed her identity.

The Texas Rangers continued looking into the case with DNA advancements and in 2010 an unknown DNA profile was found and entered into the Combined DNA Index System. At that time, no matches were found, and the case once again stalled due to the lack of leads caused by the 27-year time frame, according to a Texas DPS press release.

In 2020, evidence in the case was subjected to Advanced DNA testing which led to the identity of Larry West.

West was arrested and booked into the Bexar County Jail on a $125,000 bond. An indictment and trial are now pending.

Larry Allen West
Larry Allen West(Texas Department of Public Safety)