TEXARKANA, Ark. (TCD) – Police have named a suspect in a 42-year-old cold case involving the grisly death of two siblings, as well as the sexual assault of one of the victims.
On Oct. 12, Texarkana Arkansas Police Chief Michael Kramm announced in a press conference that investigators identified Weldon Alexander as the killer in the 1981 fatal stabbings of 14-year-old Karen Alexander and her 13-year-old brother, Gordon Alexander.
The investigation began when Weldon Alexander returned home from work on April 8, 1981, at approximately 7:15 a.m., when he claimed he saw his screen and front doors slightly open. He said he walked inside and found Gordon deceased in the kitchen and “thought his daughter might still be alive on her bed near the living room area.”
Weldon reportedly removed a butter knife from Karen’s body and put it on a shelf. A statement from the police department says officers arrived at the scene and declared Gordon deceased, but Karen remained alive. She sustained major sharp-force injuries to her body and was transported to a hospital for care. KTAL/KMSS-TV reports Karen was in a coma for three days before she died.
Karen and Gordon’s mother was reportedly in the same hospital at the time as a patient for mental health issues.
In 1993, serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, also known as the “Confession Killer,” reportedly claimed he killed the Alexander siblings. Police, however, did not arrest or charge him due to a lack of evidence.
Capt. Calvin Seward worked on the case in the Criminal Investigations Division, but the case eventually went cold. He retired from the department in 2004, then again 18 years later from the U.S. Marshals. In February 2022, he reopened the case and submitted new DNA samples from people named in the case to the Combined DNA Indexing System (CODIS) to see if it could yield any results.
Seward, Dr. Todd Steffy, a forensic criminologist, and Kelli Dixon, a DNA scientist at the Arkansas State Crime Lab, took DNA from Karen and Gordon’s fingernails and compared that to other DNA evidence at the scene. Samples taken from the siblings showed traces of copper, zinc, fibers, and other materials that were often used at Weldon’s workplace.
According to Texarkana Police, investigators found Weldon’s semen on Karen’s bed covers. The investigation revealed Karen had been sexually assaulted 48 to 72 hours before her death.
Seward said in the press conference Karen had most likely been assaulted for about six months leading up to her death.
Investigators determined both children had been stabbed the night April 7 at around 11 p.m. before Weldon left for his work shift. The two teens were reportedly still wearing the same clothes they had on as of April 7. Police also said the “weapon used was considered a weapon of opportunity, a butter knife likely from the kitchen of the Alexander home.”
There was no DNA from anyone outside the home.
Seward and Steffy wrote a probable cause affidavit naming Weldon Alexander as the suspect and presented the case to Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell. She asserts that “Weldon Alexander is the sole, viable suspect in the murders of Gordon and Karen Alexander, and that she believes probable cause exists for the issuance of an arrest warrant for two counts of Capital Murder.”
Weldon, however, died in 2014.
Kramm, the chief of police, said, “It is our hope that the friends and remaining family of Gordon and Karen Alexander may find some peace in knowing that scientific and circumstantial evidence has been revealed sufficient to resolve this 42-year-old case.”
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