NewsCovering Louisiana


Arrest made in 30-year-old Alexandria cold case

thumbnail_Robert Brunson Blair_Press Release_Photos_Truck_3.jpg
Isabelle Mansell Blair.jpg
Marian Elizabeth Coutee.jpg
Posted at 10:38 AM, Oct 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-16 14:30:15-04

The Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office says an arrest has been made in a 30-year-old cold case involving the disappearance of two Alexandria area women.

Deputies began investigating the disappearance of 34-year-old Isabelle Mansell Blair of Alexandria and 31-year-old Marian Elizabeth Coutee in July of 1989.

The pair were last seen near Alexandria on US 71 South.

The Sheriff's Office says that as time went on the case became cold until information was received approximately two months ago that re-opened the case.

Deputies say that property near the last place the women were seen was searched and on October 10 a vehicle was located submerged in a pond on the property. That vehicle, according to deputies, is consistent with the one Blair and Coutee were using at the time of their disappearance.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the property where the vehicle was discovered was previously owned by the family of Isabelle Blair's estranged husband identified as Robert Brunson Blair.

Robert Blair, now 71, was identified as a suspect after deputies say sufficient probable cause was established. A warrant was granted and Blair was arrested on Tuesday, October 15 on two counts of First-Degree Murder.

He was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center on a $2,000,000 bond.

Deputies say that an investigation is ongoing.