Watch CBS News

Houston police search Durst home after murder arrest

HOUSTON - 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.

Police were searching through Robert Durst's Houston property, but Los Angeles police are awaiting his extradition. CBS News

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 and the Harris County district attorney's referred questions to the Los Angeles Police Department. Harris County district attorney spokesman Jeff McShan said LAPD contacted his office last week. McShan would not elaborate on what was discussed.

Letter seen as key evidence in Durst case 02:14

LAPD Sgt. Barry Montgomery, a spokesman 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."

Earlier Tuesday, the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office wanted to transfer Durst to Hunt Prison in St. Gabriel, La., due to his mental health. But a judge denied that move, CBS News New Orleans affiliate WWL reported.

The sheriff's office appealed the ruling, and early Tuesday evening the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal overturned the lower court ruling. As a result, Durst was transferred Tuesday night, WWL says.

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.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.