A man was arrested after Louisiana deputies say he drove around with a woman’s body for a month after killing her.
Christopher Cater, 41, was arrested on Aug. 21 and charged with second-degree murder, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Deputies say he was an acquaintance of 72-year-old Sheila Ortega, who family members hadn’t seen in a month.
Deputies said they spoke with the family of Ortega, from Lake Charles, and began a missing person investigation on Aug. 20.
The next day, detectives found her SUV in a mall parking lot, with her body inside.
Investigators located Cater in a nearby business, according to the release. They said after speaking with Cater, he told them he had killed Ortega about a month earlier.
“We have seen some strange cases here in Calcasieu Parish, but this case is definitely an unusual one for us,” Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso said. “We have never seen someone drive around with a dead body in the SUV for 30 days.”
Cater, also of Lake Charles, told detectives he took out loans using Ortega’s information after her death, according to the release.
“My prayers go out to the family and friends of Mrs. Sheila, this is a senseless and inhumane tragedy,” Mancuso said. “The body has been sent off for further testing and to determine the cause of death. The investigation is continuing.”
In addition to second-degree murder, Cater was charged with unlawful disposal of human remains and identity theft, according to court records.
Lake Charles is about 200 miles west of New Orleans.