Home / National News / Robert Durst Condo Searched: Police in Houston Remove Boxes


(EUREKA, Calif.) — As authorities removed items after searching a condominium belonging to murder suspect Robert Durst in Houston, the police chief in Eureka, California, said he wanted to talk to Durst investigators regarding a 1997 missing-person case there.

The developments came as Durst, 71, was transferred to a jail in Louisiana equipped to deal with the mentally ill. He is in Louisiana awaiting extradition to California on a first-degree murder charge over the 2000 killing of his friend, Susan Berman, in Los Angeles.

Durst’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, has said Durst is innocent of the murder charge and denounced the Houston search as “a publicity stunt.”

Meanwhile, Police Chief Andy Mills in Eureka, California, said Tuesday that he would like to talk to agencies that have investigated Durst in connection with the 1997 disappearance of a local teen, Karen Mitchell — though he would not comment on why.

A past composite sketch in the case bears a resemblance to Durst.

Mills said that the Eureka Police Department has not made any direct link between Mitchell and Durst, adding, “I caution people about reaching too far, too quickly.”

Mitchell was last seen walking on a street in Eureka on Nov. 25, 1997, less than a week before her 17th birthday, according to a 2012 report on the case in The Times-Standard, a local newspaper.

Durst was arrested on the Berman murder charge Sunday before HBO aired the final installment of The Jinx, a six-part documentary in which Durst reflected on his first wife’s 1982 disappearance in New York, Berman’s death in Los Angeles, and the 2001 death of Morris Black, his neighbor in Galveston, Texas. Durst was tried and acquitted in Black’s death after his lawyers argued he killed his neighbor in self-defense and then dismembered the body.

At around 8:30 p.m. local time Tuesday, police were seen carrying out two white cardboard boxes from Durst’s Houston condominium complex in the city’s Rice Village neighborhood. One of the officers involved was seen wearing a Los Angeles Police Department badge, and an FBI spokeswoman confirmed the FBI also was participating in the search at the request of the LAPD, ABC station KTRK in Houston reported.

On Monday, Durst agreed to be extradited to California to face the murder charge, but Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizarro later decided to charge him with weapon and drug possession stemming from a .38 caliber revolver and marijuana police said they found when they arrested him the Marriott Hotel in New Orleans on Sunday.

On Tuesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that a district court was wrong to order Durst held at the Orleans Parish prison and that he should have been moved to the Acute Mental Health Facility at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, which is about an hour away from New Orleans, as the sheriff had requested.

Durst’s legal team said in court Tuesday that he suffers only from mild Asperger’s, but prosecution sources told ABC News they believe he suffers from undisclosed conditions that are “much more severe.”

Durst will be detained in Louisiana through Monday.

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