Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Illinois Police Still Trying to Solve '96 Slaying of Woman

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Illinois Police Still Trying to Solve '96 Slaying of Woman

Article excerpt

The vast area involved - covering three counties and nearly 100 miles - is what mystifies State Police Lt. Rex Ketchem most about the disappearance and death of Karyn Hearn Slover one year ago.

Slover, 23, left her Decatur workplace on Sept. 27, 1996, to pick up her 3-year-old son in Mount Zion, just south of town. She never made it.

Hours later, the car she was driving was found abandoned 29 miles northeast of Decatur on a well-traveled interstate with the engine running. Fishermen found parts of her dismembered body two days later in plastic bags dumped in Lake Shelbyville - 25 miles southeast of Decatur and 41 miles south of where the car was found. No arrests have been made, but Ketchem remains hopeful. "We still have an officer working full time on it. We still have leads we're investigating and following. I'm definitely not ready to give up on it yet by any means, and I fully expect that we will solve it," he said. Slover's parents, Larry and Donna Hearn of Decatur, have tried to remain optimistic. They have only praise for the investigators. "Obviously we're disappointed that nobody has been indicted, nobody is awaiting trial. You just have to continue to hold out hope that at some point, something will turn up that makes the puzzle come together," Larry Hearn said. The investigation has been hampered by lack of physical evidence. Police never found the murder weapon or the crime scene where Slover was shot five times in the head with a small-caliber weapon and her body dismembered. The last confirmed sighting of Slover was at about 5 p.m. on Sept. 27, 1996, when she left her job as an advertising sales representative at the (Decatur) Herald & Review. Decatur is about 130 miles northeast of St. Louis. She had told co-workers she was headed to Mount Zion to pick up 3-year-old Kolten, who was in the care of her ex-husband's parents. She also planned to shop for a dress to wear to a wedding the next day. The black 1992 Pontiac Bonneville four-door she was driving was found five hours later on Interstate 72 near the White Heath exit in Piatt County. Her empty purse was inside, and a cellular phone was missing. …

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