A multimillionaire heir to a New York real estate fortune was arrested today after spending more than a month as a fugitive charged with murdering a Texas man who was found dismembered in Galveston Bay.
Robert Durst, 58, was picked up around midday for shoplifting a sandwich from a market in Bath, Pa., police said.
“Officer Dean Benner responded to a shoplifting complaint at Wegman’s Market located in Hanover Township, Northampton County,” the Colonial Regional Police Department said in a statement. “Officer Dean Benner was able to determine through interviews that the man was Robert Durst.”
The arrest ended an exhaustive search following Durst’s disappearance in October.
Durst had been living in relative seclusion in a rundown Galveston, Texas, apartment building when a fisherman discovered the beheaded torso of Durst’s 71-year-old neighbor, Morris Black, on Sept. 30.
A newspaper found with the body led investigators to Black’s home. When they searched Durst’s apartment across the hall, authorities found a bloody knife, bloody footprints and other evidence. Unaware that he was the wealthy son of developer Seymour Durst, authorities allowed Durst to post $250,000 bond.
After failing to appear in court last month, he was declared a fugitive and charged with murder. Galveston police had a murder warrant on Durst with a $1 billion bond. The FBI was also pursuing him.
Wife Disappeared 20 Years Ago
Durst had lived under a cloud of suspicion since 1982, when his wife Kathie vanished while waiting for a train and was never found. Durst adamantly denied involvement in her disappearance, but Westchester, N.Y., District Attorney Jeanine Pirro recently reopened the Kathie Durst missing-person case. A close friend of Robert Durst, Susan Berman, died under mysterious circumstances last December, just as police were set to question her about Kathie Durst’s disappearance.
Friends of Kathie Durst have come forward to say she was afraid for her life and scared of her husband.
Robert Durst has not been charged in either case, however, but authorities were looking for possible links between the disappearance of Kathie Durst and the slaying of Morris Black.
Durst’s lawyer, Michael Kennedy was headed to Pennsylvania to meet with his client Saturday.
The television program America’s Most Wanted had prepared to feature Durst’s case in a show airing Saturday.