Once charged with Sarah DeLeon’s murder, judge drops charge, allows Carolyn Heckert to walk free

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Kansas City realtor Carolyn Heckert was charged in the murder of Sarah DeLeon, an 18-year-old stabbed to death in KCK in 1989. Friday night, a Wyandotte County judge dismissed her first degree murder charge.

"No comment," Heckert said as she walked out of the Wyandotte County Jail.

As reporters hammered her with questions, Heckert held on tight to a man as she walked to freedom. The 48-year-old Smithville woman spent the past six months behind bars, charged with stabbing DeLeon to death. About five months before Heckert was arrested, police announced they identified a suspect in DeLeon's murder, thanks to new DNA technology. The victim's family rejoiced to FOX 4 by phone back in October.

"It's great that Sarah finally gets a voice, that she gets to be heard. That she is going to get some attention for the injustice that was done to her."

But sources say Friday, in a preliminary hearing, prosecutors failed to present enough evidence against Heckert and charges were subsequently dropped. Sources tell FOX 4 Heckert is a very calculated and "smart woman." FOX 4's camera was rolling as a vehicle arrived at Heckert's private driveway after her release Friday night.

FOX 4 did reach out to Sarah's family Friday for comment, her brother said this simply a roadblock. It is possible that prosecutors could charge Heckert again, but for now, she's free.