Police make arrest in 1987 cold case murder of St. Clair woman

Data pix.

ST. CLAIR, Mo. - A 64-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the 1987 murder of a St. Clair, Missouri woman, authorities said Friday.

Kirby King was arrested and booked into the Franklin County Jail on Monday, December 23. He posted a $100,000 bond on December 24 and was released.

"The (victim's) parents were very emotional especially getting the news right before Christmas on his arrest, but very thankful and they're looking forward to justice," said Franklin County Sheriff Steven Pelton.

On June 24, 1987, the body of 22-year-old Karla Jane Delcour was found in a wooded area along the North Service Road along Interstate 44 approximately two miles west of St. Clair.

The St. Louis County Medical Examiner determined the cause of death to be strangulation by ligature and ruled the case a homicide.

Our news partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Delcour's father reported her missing the same day her body was discovered. He became worried after he did not hear from her for several days, even on Father's Day.

Investigators retraced Delcour's last known steps and believe she was murdered at a home off Iron Hill Road in Union approximately three days before her body was discovered.

No charges were filed and the case eventually went cold.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said her murder remained unsolved for over 32 years until Franklin County cold case investigators reopened the investigation in 2018. The team includes four retired law enforcement investigators and one full-time detective.

"There's a lot of people that work hard and are dedicated to making sure that she is not forgotten and that justice comes to her and her family," Pelton said.

Investigators traveled to Texas, Arizona, and throughout Missouri to gather information and interview witnesses.

King previously lived in St. Clair and in Gray Summit, Missouri but is currently living in Texas, according to Pelton. It appears King does not have a felony criminal record in Missouri.

Pelton said Delcour and King shared acquaintances.

The Post reported King was previously interviewed about the case in 1987, in the early 2000s, and again earlier this year. He was back in the St. Louis area visiting family for the holidays when he was arrested.

Since the case is ongoing, Pelton would not say whether additional charges or arrests may follow.

On Friday, the Delcour family told Fox 2/News 11 the situation has resurfaced a lot of painful memories for them, but they want people to know Karla was a beautiful person who is loved and missed by so many. The family is seeking prayers for justice.

The Delcour family gave thanks to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office and all involved who help move this investigation forward. They ask anyone who may still have information to contact the sheriff's office at 636-583-2560 or franklincountycoldcase@franklinmo.net.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.