Authorities in Louisiana Seeking Information from the Public in 1984 Cold Case Murder

Published March 17, 2023

Authorities in Louisiana Seeking Information from the Public in 1984 Cold Case Murder

Jefferson Parish, Louisiana – Authorities in Louisiana are seeking information from the public in a 1984 cold case murder.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) is seeking the public’s help in solving a 1984 cold case murder that was just reopened. Patricia Tito, a 58-year-old woman now in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections, has one warrant issued in the case. Tito is currently incarcerated for a homicide committed in Shreveport in 2003.
As the JPSO investigation developed, Tito identified another person, Delvin Avard Sibley, now 76, as the perpetrator of the 1984 murder. Sibley, previously of Shreveport, is being investigated as a person of interest, and investigators are requesting anyone with information about Sibley’s alleged involvement in the homicide or later disposal of the victim’s remains to come forward.

Lester Rome’s family reported him missing to the Grand Isle Police Department in January 1984. In February 1984, JPSO detectives became involved in the case. Tito was discovered living in Mr. Rome’s home and running his business at the time of the original investigation. She maintained at the time that Mr. Rome had just gone on a trip, and denied any knowledge of wrongdoing. After exhausting all investigation avenues, the missing person case was eventually suspended.

The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office launched a homicide investigation in April 1986 after human remains were discovered in a water well in the 1000 block of Recknor Road in Many, Louisiana. That victim remained unidentified for 35 years, and the case became known as “The Man in the Well” in that area. At the time, it was found that the unidentified male died as a consequence of blunt force injuries and possible stab wounds.

The Sabine Parish Coroner’s Office identified “The Man in the Well” as Lester Rome in 2021.
Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office investigators contacted JPSO, and our agencies exchanged case information. Tito was interviewed by the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the facts gleaned from that interview showed Rome was murdered in Grand Isle before his remains were discarded in Sabine Parish.
JPSO was eventually assigned to the case for further investigation.

JPSO detectives interviewed Tito in the spring of 2022, and she consented to bring them to the spot where Mr. Rome was murdered on Grand Isle near Elmer’s Island. She told our investigators that she was present during the murder, but placed responsibility for the crime solely on Sibley. She claimed that when Sibley eventually departed the Grand Isle area, he did so with Mr. Rome’s remains in his custody.

As the inquiry progressed, detectives discovered that the well where Mr. Rome’s remains were discovered was on property once held by Sibley’s family.

At this point in the investigation, investigators have obtained an arrest warrant for Patricia Tito for Second Degree Murder in the death of Lester Rome.
Authorities indicated that while the extent of her involvement is unclear, and despite her vows of innocence, Tito clearly knew of Mr. Rome’s death and neglected to notify law enforcement or a member of his family between 1984 and 2021.

Authorities are asking anyone with information about Lester Rome’s initial disappearance and murder, the whereabouts of Delvin Avard Sibley or Patricia Tito in 1984, or any other information that could help investigators is asked to contact Captain Dennis Thornton of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit at 504-364-5300 or Crimestoppers.

An arrest is an indication that probable cause exists to believe the subject was involved in the offense alleged. A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.