Arrest made in 1989 disappearance of two women in central Louisiana

Arrest made in 1989 disappearance of two women in central Louisiana
Bobby Blair, center, has been arrested in connection with the 1989 disappearance of his wife, Isabelle Mansell Blair, right, and Marian Elizabeth Coutee, left. (Source: Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office)
Bobby Blair arrest

#BREAKING RPSO has arrested Robert "Bobby" Blair, 71, of Alexandria, in reference to a 1989 murder case.

Posted by KALB News Channel 5 on Wednesday, October 16, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office says they have 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 Blairs were experiencing. Sheriff Hilton said Bobby Blair filed for divorce several days later.

Last week, KALB received a tip that deputies were searching a private pond off La. 71. KALB was there as a Nissan truck was pulled from the water. That truck matched the descriptions of the vehicle in which Isabelle Blair and Coutee were last seen, according to information released at a Wednesday news conference.

If convicted of murder, and the state doesn’t try for the death penalty on the charges, Bobby Blair 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.

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