Robert Durst was indicted for the murder of his first wife, Kathleen Durst, by the Westchester County District Attorney in New York on Monday.
In a news release, the DA’s office stated that Durst has been charged with murder in the second degree. The crime took place around Jan. 31, 1982, in South Salem, New York. A complaint filed on Oct. 19 had previously charged the 78-year-old real estate heir with murder in the second degree.
A warrant has been issued for Durst’s arrest.
“When Kathleen Durst disappeared on Jan. 31, 1982, her family and friends were left with pain, anguish and questions that have contributed to their unfaltering pursuit of justice for the last 39 years,” District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah said in a statement.
“The District Attorney’s Office reinvigorated its investigation into Robert Durst just 10 months ago when I took Office, launched the Cold Case Bureau, and dedicated the resources and skill that I thought this case deserved. Thanks to the incredible hard work of our Assistant District Attorneys, the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigators and the New York State Police, we have taken a huge step forward in the pursuit of justice for Kathie Durst, her family and victims of domestic violence everywhere.”
Durst is serving a life sentence without parole for the murder of Susan Berman in 2000, of which he was convicted on Oct. 14. Berman was believed to be preparing to share information with investigators regarding the 1982 disappearance of Kathleen Durst when she was shot in her home.
“For nearly four decades there has been a great deal of speculation about this case, much of it fueled by Robert Durst’s own highly publicized statements,” Rocah added. “An indictment is a crucial step in the process of holding wrongdoers accountable for their actions.”
Four days ago, Durst was transferred from the Los Angeles prison system to the California Health Care Facility in Stockton. According to the AP, the state medical facility is intended to treat inmates with severe, long-term health needs; Durst has several documented medical ailments, including bladder cancer and has undergone multiple surgeries. Two weeks earlier, he was hospitalized on a ventilator after he contracted COVID-19.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.