A Louisiana man has been arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder after authorities discovered a woman’s body in his car. The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office found the body of Sheila Ortega, 72, on Monday in her own SUV, following a missing persons report filed by her family. Ortega had been reported missing for approximately a month.
Detectives located Ortega’s SUV in a mall parking lot during their investigation and subsequently found her body inside. Christopher T. Cater, 41, was identified as a person of interest and was apprehended at a nearby business. During questioning, Cater admitted to killing Ortega a month earlier and using her identity to obtain multiple loans. He has also been arrested on suspicion of unlawful disposal of human remains and identity theft.
Cater is currently being held without bond at the Calcasieu Correctional Center in Lake Charles. The exact nature of Cater’s relationship with Ortega has not been disclosed, with authorities only stating that he was an “acquaintance.”
Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso expressed his condolences to Ortega’s family and friends, calling the case “unusual” and a “senseless and inhumane tragedy.” The cause of Ortega’s death is yet to be determined, as her body has been sent for further testing.