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18-Year-Old Was Murdered in Florida on Spring Break in 1980. A Serial Killer Has Confessed to Killing Her

Billy Mansfield Jr. confessed to abducting and killing Carol Ann Barrett

<p>Jacksonville Sheriff

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office/Facebook

Carol Ann Barrett

A convicted serial killer admitted to murdering a young woman in Florida in 1980, whose murder had become a cold case.

Carol Ann Barrett, 18, from Zanesville, Ohio, was visiting Daytona Beach while on Spring Break when she was abducted from a motel on March 23, 1980, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Barrett’s friends, who were in the room during the abduction, spoke to police and a sketch of the suspect was developed.

The next day, Barrett’s body was found in a ditch along I-95 in Jacksonville, the sheriff’s office says. The case went cold, however, and stayed that way for decades.

The case was reopened in 2017, and in 2020, Billy Mansfield Jr., a convicted serial killer, was identified as a suspect, police say. Mansfield, now 65, would have been 24 at the time of the murder.

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Through multiple interviews spanning two years, police say that in 2022, Mansfield admitted to being the suspect in the police sketch done after the abduction and eventually confessed to the crime itself.

Related: Remains of Teen Girl Missing for Over 40 Years Found at Serial Killer's Florida Home: Police

Despite the confession, authorities decided against pursuing prosecution against Mansfield, who is already serving a life sentence in California for murder, as well as four concurrent life sentences in Florida. Police say Mansfield is continuing to cooperate with investigators on other cold cases.

Mansfield was convicted of murdering five women in California and Florida. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1982, reports First Coast News.

During the initial Mansfield investigation in Florida, investigators found four sets of human remains in the killer’s home in Hernando County, PEOPLE previously reported. Two of the four were identified immediately, while the other two remained a mystery. In 2022, however, one of the sets was officially identified as Theresa Caroline Fillingim.

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