Northeast

Authorities say Robert Durst linked to 1971 disappearance of Vermont college student

March 17, 2015: Robert Durst is escorted into Orleans Parish Prison after his arraignment in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

March 17, 2015: Robert Durst is escorted into Orleans Parish Prison after his arraignment in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Authorities in Vermont say that real estate heir and accused murderer Robert Durst has been linked to the 1971 disappearance of a Middlebury College student.

Middlebury Police Chief Tom Hanley said in a statement that his department has been reinvestigating the disappearance of Lynne Schulze since 1992, though he did not say why the case was reopened then.

Schulze, an 18-year-old freshman at Middlebury, was last seen on the afternoon of Dec. 10, 1971, across from a bus station and a health food store that Durst owned and operated with his then-wife Kathleen, who would disappear herself 11 years later. Earlier that afternoon, authorities said that Schulze had been seen outside Durst's store eating dried prunes that she had purchased there. 

We are aware of the connection between Robert Durst and the disappearance of Lynne Schulze," Hanley's statement read. "We have been aware of this connection for several years and have been working with various outside agencies as we follow this lead."

The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press reported that the Schulze case has not been formally classified as a homicide. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, the FBI has asked authorities in California, New York and Vermont to examine their cold case files from the years Durst lived in those states. WFXT in Boston reported that the FBI had made a similar request of authorities in New Hampshire. 

On Monday, the 71-year-old Durst was ordered held without bond on on weapons charges in Louisiana. Magistrate Harry Cantrell set a preliminary hearing for April 2, delaying his transfer to California to face murder charges.

An estranged member of the wealthy New York real estate family that runs 1 World Trade Center, Durst is accused of killing Susan Berman in 2000 before she could speak with former New York prosecutor Jeanine Pirro's investigators about the disappearance of Durst's first wife, Kathleen, in 1982. Pirro is now the host of Fox News Channel's "Justice with Judge Jeanine."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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