St. Landry

Dec 23, 2013 8:17 AM by AP

St. Landry Parish Man Found Wife Below Shed

OPELOUSAS - Authorities continue to investigate Opelousas woman Sandra Tillett's death after discovering her body buried below her shed Saturday.

St. Landry Parish Sheriff's deputies located Tillett's body after her husband, Arthur Tillett, told them where it was buried. She was first buried underground within the confines of the shed and then Arthur said he poured a concrete slab on top of the burial site.

St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said Arthur, 59, specifically admitted only to burying Sandra's body after her death.

"He did not admit to contributing to her death," he said. "Our investigation is ongoing."

Arthur, still considered a person-of-interest in Sandra's death, is currently being held on an obstruction of justice charge.

The search for Sandra, 64, began a week prior when her daughter called from out-of-state, reporting she last spoke to her mother in June and hadn't been able to reach her since. Deputies questioned Arthur later that Saturday.

"At first he said she was out of state visiting family," Guidroz said.

At the time, having no reason to believe otherwise, the deputies simply requested Arthur back up his explanation.

"Then he told us another story that didn't add up: that she was in a nursing home in Georgia," Guidroz added. "We checked that out and she wasn't there."

When deputies returned to the Tillett home at 499 Carrington Place, Opelousas, Arthur was nowhere to be found and the search for both officially mounted. Arthur was traced to a hotel in Omega, Ga., and local sheriff's deputies detained him for extradition.

Investigators drove to Georgia and back with him, after which they began their interrogation in Opelousas, Guidroz said. Arthur told them where he buried Sandra Saturday afternoon and said he apparently found her in the home dead in June. Guidroz noted Sandra was an oxygen patient.

"We did recover a female body exactly where he said she was buried," he said.

An autopsy will be conducted in Lafayette to ascertain the body's identity and cause of death. Tillett, who remains a person-of-interest in the investigation, will be arraigned on his obstruction charge this morning.

Those with information pertaining to the case are encouraged to contact SLPSO at 337-948-6516. All tips can be made anonymously.

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