Identified: Man Confesses to Abducting and Murdering College Student 44 Years Ago in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After nearly 44 years, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) has identified the man responsible for the abduction and murder of 18-year-old Carol Ann Barrett, whose body was found in Jacksonville back in 1980.

Barrett, a college student visiting Daytona Beach during Spring Break, was abducted from a motel and later found dead in a ditch line along I-95 near Pecan Park Road. Despite years of dedicated work by JSO, the case went cold, leaving Barrett’s family and investigators without closure.

In 2017, Barrett’s case was re-opened by JSO’s Cold Case Unit, and in 2020, a breakthrough was made when a person of interest, Billy Mansfield Jr., was identified. Mansfield, who would’ve been 24 at the time of Barrett’s murder, is already serving multiple life sentences in a California prison.

Following police interviews that spanned over two years, Mansfield confessed to abducting and murdering Barrett, matching the description provided by witnesses and depicted in JSO’s police sketch. Despite this confession, the State Attorney’s Office in the 4th Judicial Circuit decided not to seek prosecution, citing Mansfield’s existing life sentence for multiple Florida murders.

At 65 years old, Mansfield remains in full cooperation with detectives in other jurisdictions regarding additional cold cases, according to JSO. The revelation of Mansfield’s involvement brings closure to the long-standing cold case and sheds light on the tireless efforts of law enforcement to seek justice for victims and their families.