Millionaire real estate heir Robert Durst has been charged in New York City with the death of his former wife, Kathie Durst, who vanished in 1982, authorities have confirmed.
A state police investigator filed a criminal complaint on Tuesday at a town court in Lewisboro, New York, accusing Durst of second-degree murder.
The action was not announced at the time by any law enforcement officials or Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah, who recently convened a grand jury to consider charges.
“The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office can confirm that a complaint charging Robert Durst with the murder of Kathleen Durst was filed in Lewisboro Town Court on October 19 2021. We have no further comment at this time,” her office said in a statement on Friday.
The grand jury was empanelled last week and had started hearing witness evidence, The Associated Press was told.
The grand jury process had been expected to take several weeks.
Robert Durst, 78, was sentenced last week to life in prison without parole for murdering a confidante who prosecutors said helped him cover up Kathie Durst’s killing. Los Angeles prosecutors said Durst shot Susan Berman in 2000 as she was preparing to confess her role to police.
After Ms Berman’s death, Durst went into hiding, disguising himself as a mute woman living in a cheap apartment in Galveston, Texas. It was here that he killed a neighbour and cut up his body, but was later acquitted after telling the jury he did it in self-defence.
Durst, who has numerous medical issues, sat in a wheelchair during much of the sentencing hearing and in the days since has been hospitalised on a ventilator after testing positive for Covid-19, one of his lawyers said.
Kathie Durst was 29 when she vanished on January 31 1982.
Her body was never found. At the request of her family, she was declared legally dead in 2017. Robert Durst divorced Kathie Durst in 1990 citing abandonment.
He was not charged in her disappearance until this week despite several efforts over the years to close the case. Authorities reopened the case in 1999, searching a lake and the couple’s home.