EL DORADO — For nearly five years, no one had a lead on who killed Carol Mould.
Then one day last May, Bill Moore began telling just about anyone who would listen that he killed the 46-year-old mother of three, according to court testimony Wednesday.
After hearing from a paramedic, a detective and two nurses about Moore's admissions, a Butler County district judge ruled the case should proceed toward trial following a preliminary hearing Wednesday.
Judge John Sanders set Moore, 55, for arraignment Oct. 23, when he will be asked to enter a plea.
Mould, 46, was found dead in her burning house, just off K-254, on Sept. 22, 2004. For nearly five years, Butler County sheriff's Detective Kelly Herzet testified, investigators had little to follow.
About the only lead came from a woman who said she was run off County Line Road near Mould's house that day by a blue-and-silver pickup. She said she saw the man driving the truck.
Then on May 20, police and paramedics received a call of a suicidal man at a house on Southwest Hannah Road in Benton.
Moore's wife called 911, saying he told her to leave the house because he wanted to hurt her, Herzet testified.
Dom Domebo was one of the paramedics who arrived at Moore's house. He said Moore was despondent and anxious.
Domebo testified he reassured Moore that he would be taken to the hospital, where he could undergo a psychiatric evaluation and get help.
The ambulance had just pulled away from the house when Domebo said Moore grabbed his arm.
"I killed Carol Mould," Domebo remembered Moore saying.
Domebo didn't know Mould, but Moore said she was his neighbor.
That name seemed familiar to Aimee Wilson, a registered nurse at Via Christi Regional Medical Center-St. Joseph Campus.
Moore said at the hospital he had "hurt her really bad," Wilson testified. Wilson said she searched Mould's name on Google and learned that she had died in an unsolved homicide.
Hospital officials called the Butler County Sheriff's Office, which had already talked to Domebo. It was early afternoon.
By the time the hospital released Moore that evening, deputies were waiting to take him back to El Dorado.
Over 6 1/2 hours, Moore waived his right to remain silent and began talking to Herzet and Kansas Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Dave Falletti.
"I strangled her," Herzet said Moore confessed.
Herzet testified Moore knew Mould because their children were in Boy Scouts together.
Moore, who drove a blue-and-silver pickup, said that he went to Mould's house that afternoon under the guise of having her sign Scout papers. But Moore said he wanted to have sex with her, Herzet said.
Herzet added that authorities had not publicly released how Mould died. Herzet said Moore talked about strangling her with a green cord similar to what investigators had found hanging on a stair rail by Mould's body after firefighters extinguished the blaze at her house.
Fire investigators determined Mould, her house and garage had been doused with ethanol and set on fire. Medical examiner Mary Dudley reported from her autopsy that Mould died before the fire.
Although Mould was badly burned, there was a part of her neck that had been shielded from the fire by the stair rail, Dudley testified. There, Dudley said she found a ligature mark.
Herzet said Moore told him that Mould's death had been "eating him up" in the previous weeks.
"He was sad," Herzet said of Moore. "He said he had been losing touch with his family and trying to make amends with his neighbors."