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Police Search Houston Home of Millionaire Robert Durst

Police on Tuesday were searching the Houston home of millionaire Robert Durst after his arrest over the weekend in New Orleans.

Durst, 71, is charged with murder in a Los Angeles killing 15 years ago, and has been suspected — but never charged — in the disappearance of his first wife in New York. In 2003, he was acquitted of murder in a dismemberment death in Texas.

On Tuesday afternoon, a marked Houston police car and three unmarked cars were in front of a 17-story building in Houston's Rice Village neighborhood where Durst has three condominiums. At least five plainclothes officers were working inside the guarded building. Two of the officers were seen walking to a nearby unmarked car, retrieving a small bag from the trunk and returning to the building.

Harris County district attorney's office spokesman Jeff McShan said the Los Angeles Police Department contacted his office last week. McShan would not elaborate on what was discussed and referred questions to the LAPD.

LAPD Sgt. Barry Montgomery, a spokesman for the department, said the department is not commenting on the case until Durst is in their custody.

Fugitive Heir
Robert Durst is transported from Orleans Parish Criminal District Court to the Orleans Parish Prison after his arraignment in New Orleans, March 17, 2015.

"This is an investigation that's being handled by multi-jurisdictions," Montgomery said. "At this juncture the only thing the LAPD is doing is waiting for the extradition. We are just waiting on him to make it into our custody."

Durst's attorney, Dick DeGuerin called the search a "publicity stunt" and says he would be surprised if any evidence against his client were to be found in the home, according to The Associated Press. 

Bob Martin, a neighbor of Durst's in Houston, described the murder suspect as courteous, and no quirkier than anyone else in the building.

In a documentary that just wrapped up about Durst's troubled life, he mumbled about how he "killed them all," providing a dramatic kick to the end of the series. But a law enforcement official said his arrest on the murder charge was based on words he wrote.

Analysis linked a letter Durst wrote to his friend Susan Berman a year before her killing with one that pointed police to her body, and that was the key new evidence in the long-dormant investigation into the 2000 killing, the official not authorized to speak publicly told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

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He waived extradition in New Orleans, but authorities there charged him late Monday with being a felon in possession of a gun and with having marijuana. Assistant District Mark Burton said they found more than a quarter-pound of pot and a revolver in his hotel room when he was arrested.

It was not clear how soon he would be returned to California.

Attorney Dick DeGuerin said he wants a hearing in Louisiana as soon as possible to contest the arrest.

"The warrant we believe is based on a television show and not on actual fact," he said. "We want a hearing as quickly as possible so Mr. Durst can go to California and face trial as quickly as possible."

The judge in New Orleans, Magistrate Harry Cantrell, scheduled another hearing for next Monday.

Confronted with new evidence by the makers of a documentary about his links to three killings, the troubled millionaire blinked, burped oddly, pulled his ear and briefly put his head in his hands before denying he was the killer.

Then he stepped away from the tense interview and went to the bathroom, still wearing the live microphone that recorded what he said next.

"There it is. You're caught!" Durst whispered before the sound of running water is heard. "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."

In the documentary "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst" that aired its finale Sunday on HBO, Durst is confronted with new evidence. Durst blinked, burped oddly, pulled his ear and briefly put his head in his hands before denying he was the killer.

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Copyright AP - Associated Press
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