LAKE CHARLES, La. (TCD) -- Deputies arrested a 41-year-old man after he allegedly admitted to killing an acquaintance and keeping her body with him in a car for 30 days.
According to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, on Aug. 20, deputies received a call from Sheila Ortega’s family members because they were concerned after not hearing from her for about a month. The next day, deputies found Ortega’s car in a mall parking lot, and her body was inside the vehicle.
Investigators identified Christopher Cater as a person of interest and found him at a nearby business. Detectives spoke with Cater, and he reportedly told them he killed Ortega "approximately one month ago," then used her personal information to open multiple loans.
Cater was arrested on charges of second-degree murder, unlawful disposal of human remains, and identity theft.
Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso said in the news release, "We have seen some strange cases here in Calcasieu Parish, but this case is definitely an unusual one for us. We have never seen someone drive around with a dead body in the SUV for 30 days."
Ortega’s body was "sent off for further testing and to determine the cause of death."