Murder Arrest

By: Eric James
By: Eric James

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Six months after a brutal murder at a west Wichita apartment complex, police make an arrest in the case.

The decapitated body of Lucille Gallegos was found at the apartment complex where she worked in June. The man police think killed her is already behind bars.

Police say DNA evidence links 41-year-old Douglas Belt to the murder. Belt is already in jail on robbery charges. Police say Belt was an acquaintance of Gallegos.

You may remember, for days in the hot blistering June sun, police searched for the missing head of Lucille Gallegos.

The mutilated body of the 43-year-old mother and grandmother was found inside a vacant west Wichita apartment complex. Whoever killed her left behind enough DNA evidence for police to solve the crime.

Wichita police Captain Nelson Mostly says, "There was a lot of work and tests which had to be done and the results finally came back and we were able to link the individual to this case."

41-year-old Douglas Belt was an acquaintance of Gallegos. Belt was already in the Sedgwick County jail awaiting prosecution for the November robbery of a drug store in the Ken-Mar shopping strip in east Wichita.

Just two weeks ago Lucille's children April and Herman Gallegos talked with KAKE News about the frustration in not knowing who killed their mother.

April told us she didn't know Douglas Belt, but says her mother had mentioned him. April declined an interview, but gave us this statement: "We are happy this man is not walking the streets anymore, but this is far from over, there is still a long way to go."

The police investigation may not be over. They have not cleared all the suspects. The murder weapon has been recovered, but investigators still have not found Gallegos' head.

Police say they took several swabs from possible suspects .They will keep crosschecking DNA from those swabs with lab reports as they come in, so there could possibly be another arrest.


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