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Cold case suspect makes deathbed confession in murders of child and her mother 24 years ago

A West Virginia man recently admitted to the cold case killing of a 10-year-old girl and her mother in 2000 — and died the same day that their bodies were found.

Larry Webb, who was in his 80s, died at Mount Olive Correctional Complex in Fayette County on Monday, just six hours before the remains of victims Susan and Natasha “Alex” Carter were discovered. The two victims had not been seen since Aug. 8 2000, when Susan was 41 years old and Natasha was 10.

When the Carters went missing, Susan was in a custody battle with Natasha’s father, and reportedly told him that she’d never let him see his daughter again. Authorities say that the two were living in Webb’s house at the time.

The case was cold for over two decades when the FBI began re-investigating in 2021. Authorities eventually executed search warrants at Webb’s home in 2022 and 2023. He was indicted in November and arrested earlier this month, and was being held without bond at MOCC. 

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At a Tuesday press conference, Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Hatfield said Webb was dealing with a financial issue when he shot and killed the Carters.

“The reason that he shot Susan Carter was that he had some cash money that was in the home that he went back for, and that cash money was missing,” Hatfield explained. “He began to go through his finances and that, he suspected Susan Carter had spent a lot of money.”

“They had an argument about it, and he shot her.”

Webb killed the mother before shooting Natasha “to avoid detection for having killed Susan Carter,” Hatfield said. The killer also told investigators that he hid the victims’ bodies.

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West Virginia State Police exteriors

“Once he had killed both individuals, he had stored them in the basement of the home where he cried himself to sleep that night. And then over the course of the next two nights, dug a shallow grave in the woods on his property,” the prosecutor explained.

“He did tell investigators that he buried both Susan and Alex Carter together in the same grave. And he buried them in their clothes. That has been vetted because that is consistent with what we found, over the course of the last 24 hours.”

On Tuesday, officials from the West Virginia State Police said that the confession was made during the first week of April. West Virginia State Police Capt. R. A. Maddy said that Webb was on his deathbed and “looking to come to Jesus at that point.”

Mt. Olive Correctional Complex exteriors

Natasha’s father, Rick Lafferty, spoke at the press conference and thanked authorities for their hard work. 

“Kind of a sad day, but also a happy day, because I can bring my baby home,” he said at the podium.

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