Louisiana man, 78, arrested in 1977 cold-case murder of wife, investigators say

Chester Vegas Sr. arrested after detectives discovered "new information" in 44-year-old cold case

A 78-year-old Louisiana man has been arrested in the murder of his wife nearly 44 years after she was found dead with a bullet in her back, investigators said Saturday.

Chester Vegas Sr. was initially considered a suspect after his wife Diane Vegas, who was 32 years old at the time, was found dead inside The Chicken House restaurant in Golden Meadow on Oct. 10, 1977, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a news release

ARREST MADE IN 1972 COLD CASE MURDER OF ILLINOIS TEEN STABBED 36 TIMES

Investigators said Diane Vegas suffered a single gunshot wound to her back.

Chester Vegas Sr. was arrested Friday in the shooting death of his wife Diane Vegas that happened nearly 44 years ago.

Chester Vegas Sr. was arrested Friday in the shooting death of his wife Diane Vegas that happened nearly 44 years ago. (Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office )

But without sufficient evidence at the time, Vegas was never arrested and the case went cold for almost half a century.

When investigators reopened the case in October 2020, they discovered new information that helped detectives establish probable cause for Vegas’ arrest, the sheriff’s office said. A warrant for his arrest was obtained Friday.

"We hope this arrest can begin to bring some closure to the Vegas family who have been living with questions about Diane’s death for nearly 44 years," said Sheriff Craig Webre. "New information combined with the initial investigation helped us build probable cause for the arrest."

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No further details on what kind of "new information" led to Vegas’ arrest were immediately available.

Vegas was booked in the Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex on one count of second-degree murder in the shooting that killed Diane Vegas.

He was released later that night after posting $50,000 bail.