Update: Two arrested, charged in connection with nearly 40-year-old cold case murder
TULSA, Okla. –Two people have been charged and arrested in connection with a cold case murder that happened nearly forty years ago.
Officials tell KJRH 58-year-old Erlene Lee, of Texas, and 61-year-old Willie Moore, of Wyoming, were arrested in their home states and will be extradited back to Oklahoma.
On Friday, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced that he has charged two people with first-degree murder for their role in the brutal 1983 murder of Anthony Baltes.
According to the Tulsa Police Department, Baltes’ body was found inside a motel room on Sept. 18, 1983. Investigators say he had been tied up and sustained blunt force trauma, which caused his death.
Authorities determined that robbery was likely the motive, but no suspects were ever connected to the crime.
However, recent advances in DNA technology allowed investigators to test items at the crime scene and identify suspects.
“Anthony Baltes died a horrible death 36 years ago, but that passage of time doesn’t mean those responsible aren’t going to be held accountable,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Thanks to advances in DNA technology and our law enforcement partners joining in our efforts, we have been able to clear many cold cases. Securing convictions on cold cases is difficult. That is why we appreciate our law enforcement partners, like Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler and the Tulsa Police Department and their commitment to sharing resources and solving cold cases with my office.”
A multicounty grand jury ultimately indicted Lee and Moore on one count of first-degree murder.
“The multicounty grand jury is one of our state’s best law enforcement tools when trying to solve a case as complex as a cold case,” said District Attorney Kunzweiler. “Thanks to Attorney General Hunter and his team, we were able to secure the indictment and charge these two suspects. Through these efforts, we hope to bring some form of peace to those who have been mourning a loved one’s death for so long.”