Houston News & Search
Mary Jane LeFlore’s case will be featured on Oxygen’s “Cold Justice,” premiering July 22
Published 6:47 pm, Friday, June 30, 2017
After more than two decades, dozens of investigators and the intervention of experts at a true crime television show, police believe they’ve found the killer of a Texas woman whose murder has remained unsolved.
On Thursday, the Huntsville Police Department arrested Larry LeFlore for the 1991 murder of his wife, Mary Jane LeFlore. Everyone from family members to former Harris County prosecutor Kelly Siegler kept the cold case alive, culminating into an arrest.
“We kept looking at it over the years when Mary Jane LeFlore first disappeared. It’s been a long slog,” said Walker County District Attorney David Weeks. “We kept working the case. To be honest, Larry LeFlore was a person of interest early on. We had some information but we just felt we weren’t there yet.”
The cold case
According to Detective Sgt. Ken Foulch of the Huntsville Police Department, Mary Jane worked as a sociologist with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She left work for the West Hill Mall on July 19, 1991, telling friends and family that she was going to pay bills. It was the last time she was seen alive.
Larry LeFlore told police at the time that he went look for his wife after he hadn’t heard from her for four hours. He said he found his wife’s car in the mall’s parking lot, abandoned. Before he was about to leave, Larry LeFlore claims he saw a van leaving the parking lot, with his wife in the passenger seat.
Larry LeFlore said he pursued the vehicle, following it onto Interstate 45 south, heading toward Houston. He later told police he couldn’t keep up and decided to circle back to the mall where her car was.
Larry LeFlore was convinced his wife was having an affair and would eventually come back home.
But Mary Jane LeFlore didn’t come back. Friday turned into Saturday, Saturday into Sunday. He went to the police and filed a report with the police. He filled out two statements and became a person of interest.
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Mary Jane LeFlore’s disappearance case stalled until February 1993, when a perspective land buyer found human remains on a lot near FM 3179, off Highway 30. Police were able to identify Mary Jane through dental records and jewelry left on the remains.
Foulch said Larry LeFlore was in Abilene when his wife’s remains were discovered. He declined to come back to Huntsville at the time, Foulch said. The detective sergeant added Larry LeFlore’s attorney prohibited police from contacting him.
A cold case heats up
Police may have not been able to link Larry LeFlore to his wife’s murder in the 1990’s but it didn’t stop people from trying to solve Mary Jane LeFlore’s murder.
“It was on ‘America’s Most Wanted’ and entered into the FBI‘s system,” Foulch said. “‘Cold Case’ got involved and they spent a two-week period with us. We went hard and heavy nonstop, for about 16 hours a day, with help from outside investigators and outside sources.”
The Huntsville Police Department received a significant boost in the case when the television show “Cold Justice” on the Oxygen network agreed to help investigate the case.
Siegler is a host on the show and helped with the investigation of Mary Jane LeFlore’s death.
“Mary Jane’s case will always stand out, just as it does to the people of Huntsville, because of what her murder did to her sons and how it affected so many good people who knew her,” Siegler told Chron.com. “There was a special kind of respect and affection for Mary Jane in her community everywhere we went and all of that contributed to being able to solve this case.”
Mary Jane LeFlore’s case will be seen by the world when the new season of “Cold Justice” appears on the Oxygen Network on July 22.
Investigators didn’t give specifics as to what information was given to indict LeFlore, other than more people began opening up to police over the years.
According to Larry LeFlore’s indictment, he “intentionally and knowingly” killed Mary Jane “by strangulation and by manner and means unknown to the Grand Jury.”
Larry LeFlore is lodged in the Walker County Jail and is booked on a $20,000 bond.
“I wish the people of Huntsville could have seen the emotions and the work and the determination that Chief Kevin Lunsford and Detective Ken Foulch and Detective Scott Mitchell and their entire department put into this investigation,” Seigler said. “Because they were open to any help they could get and because District Attorney David Weeks and Stephanie Stroud were also receptive, this happened.”
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