Texas cold case murder heats up as Kansas man arrested 38 years later


Handcuffs sit on a table in this file photo. (Credit: Getty Images)

CONROE, Texas (AP) — Authorities in Southeast Texas say a 75-year-old Kansas City, Kan., man has been arrested on a murder warrant in a nearly four-decade-old case.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Lt. Scott Spencer said Thursday that Thomas Elvin Darnell was arrested Monday in Kansas. He says Darnell is now being held in the Montgomery County Jail without bond in the 1983 death of Laura Purchase. DNA connected Darnell to the crime.

Jail records do not list an attorney who could speak on his behalf. Purchase’s slaying was one of about 600 confessed to and later recanted by Henry Lee Lucas, a drifter who died in a Texas prison where he was serving a life term for other killings.

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