Suspect arrested in 1987 cold case killing of 22-year-old woman

Franklin County Sheriff(ST. CLAIR, Mo.) --  More than three decades after a 22-year-old woman was mysteriously found murdered in Missouri, a suspect has been identified and taken into custody.

Kirby King, 64, was arrested on Monday, charged with second-degree murder in the death of Karla Jane Delcour, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

On June 24, 1987, Delcour's body was found in a wooded area along a road near St. Clair, according to the sheriff's office. She was "in a state of decomposition" and her wrists were bound, according to the sheriff's office.

Her death was ruled a strangulation by ligature, according to the sheriff's office.

When authorities retraced Delcour's steps, they learned she was killed about three days before her body was found, according to the sheriff's office. The crime took place at a home in Union, about 50 miles west of St. Louis, authorities said.

Investigators interviewed possible suspects and witnesses, but no one was arrested and the case went cold for more than 30 years, authorities said.

Last year, Franklin County investigators took another look at the cold case and began re-interviewing suspects and witnesses, authorities said.

The interviews took investigators from Missouri to Texas to Arizona, according to the sheriff's office.

The sheriff's office has not released what led to King's arrest on Monday, but said, "we believe enough evidence existed to charge at least one person with her murder."

"Many details in her murder are not part of this release because there is a long way to go to reach justice for Karla Delcour and her family," the sheriff's office explained. "A premature release of information might hinder that for the family."

The sheriff's office added, "Sometimes a fresh perspective combined with advances in science and technology aid in furthering an investigation when all original leads have been exhausted."

King's bond was set at $100,000, officials said. He does not have an attorney listed and is due in court on Jan. 14 for a counsel status hearing.

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