On September 18, 1983, Anthony Baltes was found dead in his motel room. Reports showed that he was tied up and strangled. He was last seen alive leaving a bar together with a woman in her 20s. Authorities believe that the motive of the crime was robbery. However, the suspects were unidentified all these years.
Through the recent advancements in DNA technology, the authorities finally identified the murderers after nearly 40 decades. According to an article by People, an American weekly magazine of celebrity and human-interest stories, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter revealed that Erlene Lee, 58, and Willie Moore, 61, were the suspects. Both of them were charged with first-degree murder for their role in the death of Baltes.
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In a statement, Hunter said, “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. Thanks to advances in DNA technology and our law enforcement partners joining in our efforts, we have been able to clear many cold cases.” He also mentioned the help of law enforcement partners, like Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler and the Tulsa Police Department.
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Both Lee and Moore were indicted by a multicounty grand jury. According to Oklahoma’s News, an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Oklahoma City, it is one of the state’s best law enforcement tools when trying to solve a case as complex as a cold case. In an interview, Kunzweiler said, “Thanks to Attorney General Hunter and his team, we were able to secure the indictment and charge these two suspects. Through these efforts, we hope to bring some form of peace to those who have been mourning a loved one’s death for so long.”
Meanwhile, Becky Balter, Baltes’ daughter, stated that she hopes this brings closure to their family and also answers all the questions they had about the murder.