Authorities in Vermont are examining whether there is a connection between murder suspect Robert Durst and the disappearance of a Middlebury College student four decades ago when he operated a health food store there.
Middlebury police on Monday said their investigation is related to the disappearance of 18-year-old Lynne Schulze in 1971.
Durst, a New York real estate scion, is being held in a New Orleans-area jail on weapons charges. He has been charged in the 2000 slaying of Susan Berman in Los Angeles. Berman was Durst’s confidant. At the time she was shot in the head authorities wanted to question her about the disappearance of Durst’s wife, Kathleen, in 1992.
The FBI has asked authorities in California, New York and Vermont to check their cold case files for the years he lived in those states.
“We are aware of the connection between Robert Durst and the disappearance of Lynne Schulze. We have been aware of this connection for several years and have been working with various outside agencies as we follow this lead,” Middlebury police said in a statement.
Detectives said Durst owned and operated the All Good Things health food store in the city at the time Schulze was reported missing. Citing the ongoing investigation, detectives said they would not release any other details.
Middlebury police officials said they reopened the Schulze case in 1992 and the case has been “continuously generating leads since the investigation was reopened.” Durst operated the health food store with his then-wife, Kathleen.
In Northern California, police and prosecutors in Humboldt County are examining whether there was a connection between Durst and the 1997 disappearance of teen Karen Mitchell.
Meanwhile, a New Orleans judge Monday ordered Durst to be held without bail because he’s considered a potential flight risk and danger to the community.
Prosecutor Mark Burton argued during a hearing that Durst, whose net worth is $100 million, made comments in the HBO series “The Jinx” that indicate he considers a $250,000 bail “chump change.” His next hearing is set for April 2.
Follow Southern California crime @lacrimes.