UNION, Mo. (AP) — A 67-year-old man has pleaded guilty to strangling a woman in Missouri and leaving her bound body in the woods three decades ago, a newspaper reported.
Kirby R. King pleaded guilty on Friday to involuntary manslaughter and felonious restraint in the death of 22-year-old Karla Jane Delcour, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Monday. She was found dead with her wrists and neck bound by a cord in Franklin County woods near the city of St. Clair.
King, whose social circles overlapped with those of Delcour, was questioned in 1987 after her body was found but never charged. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office reopened the case in 2018 and King was arrested in 2019, initially charged with second-degree murder. Investigators have not said if new evidence led to King’s arrest 32 years after Delcour was killed.
“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,” Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton said Friday in a written statement.
Investigators believe Delcour was killed at a home in the city of Union on June 21, 1987. Her body was found about four days later 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) west of St. Clair, where she was living.
King’s attorney Steven Waterkotte said Monday that his client “was happy to put this all behind him.”
King will be sentenced July 12.