• Back Road Mysteries Staff

Gruesome 1989 murder of Kansas City, Kansas woman linked to romantic triangle?

For the past 30 years, Kansas City, Kansas police have been searching for answers in the gruesome murder of 18-year-old Sarah DeLeon.

DeLeon’s body was discovered just before 10 a.m. on Dec. 29, 1989, on an isolated track of railway by Interstate 435. She had been stabbed to death, sustaining most of her injuries on her back, neck, and chest.

Her car, a black Ford Mustang, had been found a few miles away earlier that morning by a patrol officer, who noticed there was no blood or any sign of a struggle at the scene. There was, however, an impact scuff on the car’s rear bumper.

During the original investigation, police learned DeLeon had been on a date with her boyfriend, Matt Uland, the night before her murder, and that she had left his house around 1:30 a.m. to drive home.

Carolyn Coon Heckert

While loved ones characterized DeLeon as a friendly, outgoing young woman who was not the type to make enemies, a rumor circulated that she had experienced tension with Uland’s ex-girlfriend, Carolyn Coon (now Heckert).

Heckert, however, was never officially linked to the case until 2016, when she was charged with DeLeon’s murder and named a person of interest in the 1994 murder of Diana Ault, a 26-year-old mother of two who was shot to death in her home.

Both DeLeon and Ault had allegedly been Heckert’s romantic rivals, and Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Tatum argued Heckert was the joint connection between the two killings. But the following year at a probable cause hearing, it was ruled there was not enough evidence to tie Heckert to DeLeon’s murder.

As of now, no further charges have been filed against Heckert and she has also never been arrested or charged in connection with murder of Ault.

Tips and information can be called into the Kansas City , Kansas Police Department at (913) 596-3000.

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