JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Law enforcement authorities in Florida announced last week that they’ve solved the nearly 44-year-old homicide of Carol Ann Barrett when serial killer Billy Mansfield Jr. confessed to killing the 18-year-old teen, according to The Western Journal.
The decades-old homicide investigation involving Barrett’s slaying has come to end — two years after her murderer admitted to the brutal killing, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said in a press statement.
Mansfield is currently serving five concurrent life sentences for murders committed in Florida and California. JSO provided the following details in its news release:
On Sunday, March 23, 1980, 18-year-old Carol Ann Barrett was visiting Daytona Beach while on Spring Break from Zanesville, Ohio with a group of high school friends. At approximately 2:00 a.m., Carol was abducted by an unknown assailant from the Treasure Island Motel, in Daytona Beach Shores. After interviewing Carol’s friends that had been in the room at the time of the kidnapping, a police sketch of the suspect was completed.
On Monday, March 24, 1980, Carol’s lifeless body was discovered by a passerby in a ditch line along I-95 near Pecan Park Road in Jacksonville, Florida. Following an autopsy, Carol’s death was ruled a Homicide. Tragically, the case went “cold” after years of work by detectives with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office along with the original jurisdiction.
In August of 2017, Carol’s case was revisited and ultimately re-opened by members of the JSO’s Cold Case Unit after reviewing all available evidence.
In 2020, a person of interest that had been formulated, Billy Mansfield, Jr. (White Male, 65), was ultimately identified as the suspect in Carol Barrett’s murder. Mansfield would have been 24 at the time of Carol’s Murder.
In September of 2022, after multiple interviews spanning two years, Billy Mansfield advised that he was in fact the suspect in the police sketch completed following the abduction. He went on to confess to the abduction from the Daytona Beach Shores hotel, as well as to her murder shortly thereafter.
Throughout the course of the follow-up investigation, the State Attorney’s Office in the 4th Judicial Circuit was consulted with. Following the more than quarter-century investigation into Carol’s murder, it has been determined the SAO would not seek prosecution as Billy Mansfield will remain in prison in California on one life sentence for Murder, as well as four concurrent life sentences in Florida for Murder in separate cases.
Billy Mansfield continues to cooperate with detectives in other jurisdictions regarding additional Cold Cases.
Despite her brief life, Barrett’s kind spirit remains in the hearts of friends and family, including her niece, Claire Gilligan, who shared a special story of Barrett saving her from drowning when she was a small child, WJXT-TV reported.
“[She] jumped in and pulled me out and gave me CPR until the ambulance came,” Gilligan told the station. “She was a hero multiple times over.”