Over a decade after the death of Arcadia resident Charlotte S. Cole, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and the Arcadia Police Department have arrested their primary person of interest in the murder case: Cole’s husband. 72-year-old Richard Keith Cole was arrested for the September 2001 murder of his wife on November 4th after police gathered new evidence in the case.
On September 1st, 2001 Arcadia Police received a 911 emergency call from a Coco’s Restaurant at 59 West Las Tunas Drive. Upon arriving, police found 50-year-old Charlotte Cole’s body slumped over the steering wheel of a white Ford Aerostar van in the rear parking lot. Investigators determined that Cole’s death was a homicide resulting from multiple stab wounds.
According to an on-scene evaluation, detectives believed that an argument had preceded the stabbing and that several individuals may have witnessed the event. On June 1st, 2004, the Arcadia Police Department offered $70,000 for any information that could lead to the suspect in Cole’s murder.
While Cole’s husband was always a person of interest, the case went cold until detectives from the LASD and Arcadia PD reopened the case in 2011. Police served a search warrant at Richard Keith Cole’s new residence in Arcadia and uncovered new evidence that led to Cole’s initial arrest on April 28th, 2011 before he was released pending further investigation.
Despite the setback, additional evidence was gathered that allowed the Los Angeles County Attorney’s Office to file charges against Cole. A murder warrant with a bail of $1 million was issued for Cole’s arrest.
On November 4th, over 11 years after Charlotte Cole’s death, Richard Keith Cole was arrested at a Pasadena restaurant for the murder of his wife. He was transported to a local hospital for medical clearance before being booked at Arcadia City Jail, with plans to transport him to the Los Angeles County Jail.
The LASD did not immediately respond to requests to comment on the incident.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau Detective Sergeant Steve Davis or Detective Joe Purcell (323) 890-5500. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.
Arcadia’s Best: Husband in 2001 murder arrested