Carol Lynne Sullivan was a 12-year-old girl from Longwood, Florida. She lived with her parents, Herbert and Joanne, and her two brothers. In July of 1978, the family moved to Osteen, Florida, and Carol was enrolled at Deltona Junior High School.
She left her home at 6:50 AM on September 20, 1978, and walked down Doyle Road to the corner of Courtland Boulevard. But when the school bus came at 7:05 AM, she wasn’t there. She had been waiting at the bus stop like she always did.
After Carol missed her first two classes, the school called Joanne to ask why Carol wasn’t there that day. Joanne called the police when she saw that Carol hadn’t taken the bus or gone home.
The area was searched by police and volunteers on foot, in cars, on motorcycles, and in planes. The police even went from door to door to see if anyone had seen Carol.
People in their cars had seen her waiting at the bus stop that morning, but no one saw what happened to her. One driver said they saw a pickup truck parked nearby, but they didn’t see anything strange.
Near Doyle Road and Courtland Boulevard, police blocked off the road so they could question drivers. People in their cars were told that Carol had gone missing and asked if they had seen anything strange.
In the eight days after she went missing, Carol turned thirteen. She didn’t have a birthday party, and Joanne put her gifts away.
This 19-year-old from Rochester, New York, was excited to move to Florida because he would be able to see alligators there. While his parents watched the progress of the house they were building on October 2, 1978, Bob chose to go check out the area.
He found a small pond about two miles from the Sullivans’ house. In the grass, Bob saw something strange on a slope next to the water. It was a paint can that held one gallon. If Bob picked it up, there were fire ants all around and inside it. He was shocked to find a skull inside. He picked up the can again and went back to his car. He got in his car, went to the closest convenience store, and called the police.
Since Carol hadn’t been seen in 12 days, no one thought the skull belonged to her. They didn’t think a skull could break down so quickly because it had no flesh and only a small patch of hair. It was thought that someone had taken it from a cemetery nearby. Not long after it was found, though, a dentist was able to positively match the skull to Carol’s dental records.
It turned out that Carol had been hit in the back of the head. The skin had been cut off with a scalpel or very sharp knife, and the brain had been taken out by boiling the skull. Some parts of the skull were also smoothed out.
Also, the paint that was left over from the paint can was looked at. It used to have blue metallic paint in it that was used to paint cars again. There was also a piece of duct tape at the scene. The paint on it was different, but it could also be used to paint cars.
The person who ki*lled Carol has never been caught or even named. But there is one well-known suspect who was caught at the time but not charged because there wasn’t enough proof.
Vincenzo Alestra, 31, took a 21-year-old woman from the parking lot of the mall where Carol worked and held her hostage with a gun. The Deltona truck driver raped the woman who was not named in a remote area.
It was also said that Vincenzo exposed himself in front of a girl, 8, and a boy, 5, outside of a library and made the girl have oral sex with him. He was charged with assaulting the woman and given a 30-year prison sentence, but he got out in 1999.
In 2014, Vincenzo was being looked into by the Department of Homeland Security after they found child pornography on the internet. Authorities took away his computer and found dozens of sexually explicit pictures of kids as young as 6 years old. They also found out that he had ab*used a 10-year-old child se*xually for more than two years. Vincenzo, who had moved to Cairo, Georgia, was given an 80-year prison sentence.
It’s still not clear if Vincenzo k*illed Carol. A few other minor suspects have been named.
The police think Henry Lee Lucas was in the area at the time, but they couldn’t link him to the crime. Ottis Toole, Lucas’s friend, has also been mentioned. Most people know Toole for kidnapping and ki*lling 6-year-old Adam Walsh in 1981. The boy’s severed head was found in a Florida drainage canal. John Walsh, Adam’s dad, became the host of America’s Most Wanted.
The police looked for Carol’s body parts but never found anything. Herb and Joanne moved away with their two sons a few weeks after Carol was ki*lled.
The case is still going on. If you know anything, call the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office at 386-254-1535.
The mu*rder of Carol Lynne Sullivan has still not been solved 42 years later.