RPSO, DA's Office held press conference Thursday on Bobby Blair's guilty plea

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Rapides Parish Sheriff William Earl Hilton says it was a testament of the hard work of detectives that led to Bobby Blair, 71, pleading guilty to two counts of manslaughter Wednesday, four months after his arrest in a 30-year-old cold case.


Blair was indicted for manslaughter after being arrested last October for the 1989 disappearance and deaths of his missing wife, Isabelle, and her friend, Marian Coutee.

The case went cold for 30 years until a truck belonging to Coutee, one of the two were last seen in, was found deep within a pond on property once owned by the Blair family. Investigators said that property being sold was the "green light" to finally getting answers in the case.

The sheriff's office was joined by the DA's office on Thursday, alongside Isabelle Blair's daughter and her cousin to talk about finally getting justice and Blair spending 40 years, essentially the rest of his life in prison.

"You know we get criticized throughout the community about, well, you're not working on our case anymore," said Hilton. "But, that's not the truth. nothing pleases a law enforcement officer more than solving a case and putting the culprit in jail. We're going to always do that. It's not just me and my department, it's every law enforcement agency in the world.

"The victims...this is what this case is about," said Rapides Parish DA Phillip Terrell. "These ladies right here and their families. God bless. Thank you for hanging in there and being patient."

Sheriff Hilton ended by saying that Bobby Blair spent his 30 years after the deaths of the women making a career as a farmer and he'll end his life doing farm work at Angola.

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