Christopher Cater allegedly drove a corpse around for weeks

Christopher Cater, on the left, and Sheila Ortega, on the right, appear inset against an image of a mall parking lot where the woman’s body was found on Aug. 21, 2023 in Lake Charles, La. (Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office; Facebook; Screengrab via KPLC)

A Louisiana man killed a septuagenarian woman and drove around with her body for over four weeks, all the while stealing her identity to take out several loans, authorities in the Pelican State say.

Christopher Talton Cater, 41, stands accused of one count each of murder in the second degree, unlawful disposal of human remains, and identity theft, according to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“We have seen some strange cases here in Calcasieu Parish, but this case is definitely an unusual one for us,” Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said in an Aug. 22, press release. “We have never seen someone drive around with a dead body in the SUV for 30 days.”

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