BOWLING GREEN, Ky (WBKO) -- Bowling Green Police are accusing Leland Neal of murdering his estranged wife, Carol Neal. Leland Neal was arrested last week in Mexico, during a robbery investigation.
"With cooperation of the Marshall's Office and the Mexican authorities, Mr. Neal was extradited back to the United States yesterday," said Chris Cohron, Commonwealth Attorney.
On November 10, 1998, Carol Neal was reported missing from her home. When police arrived to the scene,they found large amounts of blood, but no body.
For years, police authorities all over Kentucky, made a collaborative effort with this murder case.
"We had the FBI involved in this, we had the State Police, Wayne County Sheriffs Department, Whitley County Sheriff's Department, Logan County Sheriff's Department. Basically everyone at the Bowling Green Police Department was working on this case at length for a while," said Cliff Meeks, retired Bowling Green Police Detective.
In 2003, artifact hunters located a partial skull in the Daniel Boone National Forest. A forensic examination determined the skull belonged to Carol Neal.
In 2013, Bowling Green Police Department detectives were able to develop Leland Neal as a suspect in the murder and provided a warrant for his arrest.
Police learned Leland Neal did flee to Mexico when a prior arrest warrant was issued for cultivation of marijuana.
It wasn't until last week, when police caught up with Leland Neal outside of U.S. borders.
"He was picked up in a robbery investigation in Mexico and obviously he stuck out," said Chris Cohron, Commonwealth Attorney.
Leland Neal has been transferred to Houston Texas and authorities expect him back in Warren County within the next couple weeks.
"Most importantly, hopefully we are on a road now to give Carol Neal's family some closure," said Chris Cohron, Commonwealth Attorney.
A friend of Carol's spoke to us about the investigation.
"It just goes to show that law enforcement and investigators don't give up. They're still working on it, we just don't always see that," said Margie Burns, friend of Carol Neal.
Burns says this case hasn't left her mind either.
"I mean, I still to this day think about Carol when I drive by places, I'm looking in ditches, I'm looking for couch cushions and personal property,” said Margie Burns, friend of Carol Neal.
“I want to thank Commonwealth Attorney, Chris Cohron and all police for not giving up on this case,” said Barbara Smith, Carol Neal's Mother.