Indianapolis detectives happy to have closure in serial truck stop case

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Detectives say they’ve reached an important step in solving the case of an Indianapolis woman who may have been the victim of a serial killer. Authorities in Louisville, Kentucky say a body found there years ago is that of a missing woman from Indianapolis.

The body of Carma Purpura was found off the shoulder of a highway in Kentucky in 2011. Now, the medical examiner’s office in Louisville has positively identified those remains as Purpura‘s with the use of DNA evidence. When she disappeared nearly a decade ago she was 31 years old.

Although the body was found in 2011 police were unable to match the DNA until now. Purpura, a mother of two, was last seen at a Flying J truck stop. The man charged with Purpura’s murder is Bruce Mendenhall. Police were looking for Mendenhall and his Semi-Truck, in connection to the murder of Sara Hulbert. His truck was spotted on camera in Nashville Tennessee just one day after Purpura’s disappearance. That’s when Mendenhall was taken into custody.

That’s when police found evidence of blood, clothing, and Purpura’s ID in his truck. Mendenhall told police at the time, he killed six women in four states, including Purpura.

Retired Nashville Metro Police Detective Sergeant Pat Postiglione, who worked on the Sara Hulbert case, says he is glad there is some closure for the family.

“I’m glad they were able to get some sort of closure even though it’s probably not what they would have wanted,” he said.” I know finding the remains is something they were seeking for ever since this happened,” said Postiglione.

Mendenhall is now known as the serial truck stop killer. Investigators say each case linked to Mendenhall is very similar with the victims picked up from truck stops. Police believe there could be more victims out there killed in similar ways. 24-Hour News 8 did reach out to Purpura’s family for comment but a relative told us on the phone they had no comment.