Following Robert Durst’s bond hearing in Louisiana on Monday morning, we now know how authorities located the 71-year-old real-estate heir in New Orleans before arresting him on March 14.
James O’Hern, an investigator with the Orleans Parish district attorney’s office, revealed in court that authorities had requested a warrant to monitor Durst’s cell phone. Per the Los Angeles Times, once authorities had the warrant, they were able to track Durst from his Houston apartment—which he weirdly left unlocked—to Beaumont, Texas. As Durst was moving east in Texas, however, the phone’s signal died.
O’Hern testified that authorities were able to ultimately locate Durst at his New Orleans hotel after he used a phone inside to check his cell phone’s voicemail. Upon arriving, detectives asked the front desk to see if Durst had checked in under his known aliases. When the front desk could not find a reservation—Durst had checked in under a new alias, Everett Ward—detectives waited in the lobby until they spotted Durst near the elevators. (For arrest timeline completists, Page Six reports that the Durst ate his last meal before the arrest at Emeril Lagasse’s French Quarter restaurant. He reportedly ordered an Abita Amber beer and the $30 garlic-crusted drum.)
It was previously reported that Durst’s hotel room contained a fake I.D., a passport, a Mission Impossible–style latex mask, a gun, around $44,000 in cash, and enough marijuana for about 300 joints. In court today, investigators also revealed that they found maps of New Orleans, Florida, and Cuba, and that Durst was expecting a U.P.S. shipment “with another $117,000 in cash and personal items.” Prosecutors suggested during today’s hearing that the suspect might have been planning a trip to Cuba.ABC notes that, according to nola.com, Durst was arrested on the same day “as the first nonstop flight from New Orleans to Cuba since 1958.”
Upon hearing evidence that Durst was a flight risk and danger to the community, a New Orleans judge ordered Durst to be held without bail. Durst is being charged in New Orleans with possession of a firearm by a felon and illegally carrying a weapon with a controlled substance.
Durst, who is currently being held at a medical facility at a Louisiana state prison, is awaiting extradition on the California warrant.