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RPSO solves 1989 cold case, Alexandria man arrested for murder

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) – The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office has solved a cold case from 1989 involving the disappearance of two women, one of them the suspect’s wife.

Late Tuesday, investigators arrested Robert “Bobby” Blair, 71, of Alexandria, on two counts of first degree murder for the deaths of Blair’s wife, Isabelle Blair, who was 34 at the time, and her friend, Marian Coutee, who was 31.

According to Sheriff William Earl Hilton, the two women disappeared amidst marital problems the Blair’s were experiencing. Sheriff Hilton said Bobby filed for divorce several days later.

Last week, News Channel 5 received a tip that deputies were searching a private pond off Highway 71 and we were there as a Nissan truck was pulled from the water. As we learned at a Wednesday press conference, that truck matched the descriptions of the vehicle Blair and Coutee were last seen in.

If convicted of murder, and the state doesn’t try for the death penalty on the charges, he faces an automatic sentence of life in prison.

Bobby Blair was 41 at the time of the crime. Bond has not been set at this time.