US police search home of murder-accused millionaire

2015-03-18 10:45

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Houston – US Police on Tuesday were searching the Houston home of millionaire Robert Durst after his arrest over the weekend in New Orleans.

Durst, 71, is charged with murder in a Los Angeles killing 15 years ago, and has been suspected - but never charged - in the disappearance of his first wife in New York. In 2003, he was acquitted of murder in a dismemberment death in Texas.

On Tuesday afternoon, a marked Houston police car and several unmarked cars were in front of a 17-story Houston building where Durst has three condominiums.

Houston police referred questions to the Los Angeles Police Department. LAPD Sergeant Barry Montgomery, a spokesperson for the department, said the department is not commenting on the case until Durst is in their custody.

"This is an investigation that's being handled by multi-jurisdictions," Montgomery said. "At this juncture the only thing the LAPD is doing is waiting for the extradition. We are just waiting on him to make it into our custody."

FBI spokesperson Shauna Dunlap confirmed that FBI agents were participating in the operation at the request of the Los Angeles Police Department. Harris County district attorney's office spokesperson Jeff McShan said the Los Angeles Police Department contacted his office last week.

‘Publicity stunt’

Dick DeGuerin, Durst's longtime Houston defence attorney, said he was baffled by what investigators could be looking for in the building.

"I think it's a publicity stunt. I'm not surprised by it, but I would really be surprised if they found anything of any evidentiary value," he said.

In a documentary about Durst's troubled life, he mumbled about how he "killed them all," providing a dramatic kick to the end of the series. But a law enforcement official said his arrest on the murder charge was based on words he wrote.

Analysis linking a letter Durst wrote to his friend Susan Berman a year before her killing with one he said "only the killer could have written" to point police to her body was the key new evidence in the long-dormant investigation into the 2000 killing, the official not authorized to speak publicly told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

Durst was charged Monday in Los Angeles with first-degree murder in the shooting of Berman, the daughter of a prominent Las Vegas mobster. He could face the death penalty under special circumstances that allege he ambushed her and murdered a witness to a crime.

He waived extradition in New Orleans, but authorities there charged him late Monday with being a felon in possession of a gun because he had a revolver and carrying a weapon while possessing pot when he was arrested Saturday. It was not clear how soon he would be returned to California.

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