DNA Evidence, Persistence Lead To 2 Arrests In 1983 Tulsa Cold Case Murder
TULSA, Oklahoma - Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced Friday that his office has charged two people with first-degree murder in a 1983 Tulsa cold case.
Both are now in custody: 61-year-old Willie Moore. Moore was arrested Fremont County, Wyoming Friday. Later in the day, Erlene Lee, 58, was arrested in Texas.
The Tulsa Country District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said the indictment was filed Friday morning in district court.
Kunzweiler says evidence was presented to a multi-county grand jury, who then returned indictments Thursday for the two people connected to the murder of Anthony Baltes.
Police say on September 18, 1983, Baltes was found dead in a motel room, where he'd been tied up and beaten.
TPD detectives have been looking into the case for some time now, and Kunzweiler says he's thankful for the partnership with detectives and the Attorney General's office on getting an idea of who the suspects are.
"Anthony Baltes died a horrible death 36 years ago, but that passage of time doesn’t mean those responsible aren’t going to be held accountable," Attorney General Hunter said.
"Thanks to advances in DNA technology and our law enforcement partners joining in our efforts, we have been able to clear many cold cases. Securing convictions on cold cases is difficult. That is why we appreciate our law enforcement partners, like Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler and the Tulsa Police Department and their commitment to sharing resources and solving cold cases with my office."
Anthony Baltes' daughter issued the following statement:
“My family and I are overwhelmed with mixed emotion learning of the break in my fathers cold case. We never thought it would ever be solved and we are so grateful for the evidence saved by the Tulsa Police Department. The dedication of the TPD and the Cold Case Unit working together to solve my father's case is unprecedented. We are astounded with the advancement of forensic science we have today to use evidence from 36 years ago. We hope and pray that all our questions will finally be answered from the day that changed our lives forever and bring closure to the hearts of our family. Please keep our family in your prayers and pray justice can finally be served.”
Becky Baltes, daughter