Deathbed Confession Ends 24-Year-Old Murder Case

( – In August 2000, Susan Carter and her daughter, Natasha Alexandra (Alex) Carter, went missing. They were last seen in Beckley, West Virginia. While police initially thought the mother abducted her daughter during a custody dispute and treated it as such, putting a warrant out for Susan Carter’s arrest, authorities began to rethink their assessment. In late 2022, police obtained a warrant to search the missing woman’s husband’s house, Larry Dell Webb. While police had their new suspicions, the killer finally confessed, closing the case for good.

Who Did It?

When police searched Webb’s home, they found a bullet lodged in the bedroom wall where little Alex Carter used to sleep. The projectile was covered in the little girl’s blood. With that information, a grand jury indicted Larry Dell Webb in October 2023 for first-degree murder.

Although prosecuting Attorney Ben Hatfield from Raleigh County said the evidence against Web “overwhelmingly” pointed toward the man’s guilt, the case against him was delayed because of his ongoing health problems. Webb ended up at the Hilltop Nursing Home Center, where Hatfield and other investigators went to visit him during the first week of April.

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Tony Rausa held a press conference where he explained that Webb not only confessed to the murders of Susan and Alex Carter on his deathbed but described his actions in detail. The killer told investigators and the prosecutor that he shot them, wrapped them in bed linens, and left them in the basement on the floor while he dug their graves for the next two days in his backyard. Webb said he initially only killed Susan but realized he had to kill the daughter to hide his crime. Hatfield called the confession “detailed, undeniable,” and “unconflicted.”

Recovery and Reactions

Webb told investigators where they could find the bodies and after three days of digging, officials found their remains. After his confession, he was transferred to the Southern Regional Jail and, more recently, to Mount Olive Correctional Complex. The murderer’s final trip was to the hospital on April 22, where he was pronounced dead just before investigators found his victim’s remains.

Ricky Lafferty, Alex’s father, said he “never gave up hope” that his 10-year-old would be found and brought home. He said when she went to live with her mother and stopped contacting him, he “knew something was wrong.” Lafferty said his emotions about the discovery and confession were a combination of “sadness, happiness, relief,” and “melancholy.” He said he was glad that he would now “bring her home to where she is loved.”

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