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February 26, 2014

Man charged in cold case slaying captured Friday

Victim’s skull found in McCreary woods in 2003

BOWLING GREEN —  A man wanted in the cold case killing of his wife in south-central Kentucky has been captured.

    Prosecutors took out a warrant last year charging Leland Neal with murder in the death of Carol Neal. The Bowling Green social worker was reported missing in 1998. Her body was never found, but hikers discovered part of her skull in 2003 in the Daniel Boone National Forest (Parkers Mountain).

    Police and prosecutors told The Daily News  that officials in Mexico were holding Neal on unrelated charges when they discovered the murder warrant and contacted U.S. officials.

    Prosecutor Chris Cohron said Neal is currently in custody in Texas. Cohron says Neal has waived extradition and is expected to be back in Bowling Green soon to face the murder charge.

    "We are thrilled with the capture of Leland Neal," Cohron said. "We very much appreciate the assistance of the Mexican authorities working with the United States Marshal's Office. Mr. Neal was lodged in the Harris County, Texas, Detention Center this afternoon. He has waived extradition, and we expect him back in Warren County within the next two weeks."

    According Neal's arrest affidavit, the couple separated in July 1998, and within the next month Carol Neal filed a domestic violence report against Leland Neal and filed for divorce. They had a hearing scheduled on Nov. 12 to set a date for divorce proceedings.

    The affidavit says friends of Carol Neal and a relative told police that she had been afraid of her husband, who had threatened to kill her.

    Cohron said at the time that the charge was brought due to the "totality of the circumstances."

 

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