Billboards go up in 1994 Cold Case
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Diana Ault was shot and killed in her Independence home 28 years ago. She was 26 and the mother of two children. Her killer has never been brought to justice. Now, the FBI stepping in to support investigators.
Bill Laskey, Diana Ault’s father, has waited decades for accountability.
He describes it as a “rollercoaster ride, up and down throughout the years.”
Diana’s car was found abandoned at a church, miles from her home. The keys were inside, the motor running, the parking lights left on. Investigators found a gun inside the car, one round had been fired. Police went to Diana’s house. They heard a baby crying but there was no response to knocks on the door. They finally found an unlocked door and went into the home.
The investigation report from that night reveals they found Diana, lying on the floor. They also found an infant laying in a pool of blood in the kitchen and another child laying on the victim’s chest. The children were not injured but were covered on blood. According to the report, when officers asked the child what happened, the 4-year old boy replied that “someone shot his mommy.”
At first, police suspected a burglary because the house had been ransacked. They no longer believe that’s the case.
Investigators connect murder cases
Investigators have long believed Diana’s case may be connected to another murder in Kansas City, Kansas. Sarah DeLeon was 18 years old when she was killed. In 1989, She was found stabbed to death along railroad tracks in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2016, KCK Police announced for the first time that they believed the killer was a woman linked romantically to the men in the lives of Sarah DeLeon and Diana Ault.
“How could someone be so cruel?” asks Laskey.
Bill Laskey says Diana had been stalked and harassed in the days before her murder.
He recalled a conversation with his daughter. He said and told her, “This person is not normal.”
He said Diana’s response was " ‘Nah, worse thing she’ll do is maybe break my arm.’ "
Shortly after police announced the cases may be connected, there was an arrest and charges in DeLeon’s case--a woman named Carolyn Heckert. But Heckert never went to trial. The charges were dropped due to a lack of evidence.
Investigators still believe these cases can be solved. News that the FBI is involved, and billboards are going up has inspired a cautious confidence for Bill Laskey.
“If they can’t get it done this time, we’re just going to have to let the Lord take care of it,” said Laskey. “And He will.”
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