Louisiana Man Arrested For Allegedly Murdering Woman and Using Her Identity to Get Loans.

By Orion Blake
Published August 22, 2023

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Lake Charles, Louisiana – A Louisiana man has been arrested for allegedly murdering a woman and using her identity to get loans. The victim’s body was found in a vehicle in the mall parking lot.

Deputies from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office were called to a home concerning a disappearance case on Sunday, August 20, around 3:30 p.m. The missing individual was identified as Sheila Ortega, a 72-year-old from Lake Charles, Louisiana. Ortega’s relatives informed the officers they had not had any communication with her for about a month.

On Monday, 21st August, amidst the inquiry into a missing individual, investigators discovered Ortega’s SUV in a shopping mall parking lot where they found her lifeless body inside. 

Authorities identified a possible suspect, 41-year-old Christopher T. Cater from Lake Charles, Louisiana who was familiar with Ortega, at a neighboring business. Authorities reported that Cater confessed to his role in Ortega’s murder, which happened about a month prior when questioned. 

Additionally, Cater acknowledged to authorities that he had fraudulently acquired several loans using Ortega’s personal information posthumously.

Cater was apprehended and booked at the Calcasieu Correctional Center, facing charges of second-degree murder, illegal disposal of human remains, and identity theft. His bail is yet to be set.

“We have seen some strange cases here in Calcasieu Parish, but this case is definitely an unusual one for us.  We have never seen someone drive around with a dead body in the SUV for 30 days,” stated Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso.  “My prayers go out to the family and friends of Mrs. Sheila, this is a senseless and inhumane tragedy.  The body has been sent off for further testing and to determine the cause of death.  The investigation is continuing.”

Detective Travis Lavergne from CPSO is spearheading the investigation for this case.

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