Skip to main content

Louisiana cold case ‘The Man in The Well’ is cracked nearly 40 years later: Deputies


Patricia Tito, Delvin Sibley (Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office).

58-year-old Lester Rome disappeared nearly 40 years ago. His family reported him missing to the Grand Isle Police Department in January 1984. The police department sits on a narrow barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico — right along the Louisiana coastline.

A month later — and a two-hour drive north toward New Orleans — the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office took over the investigation. When detectives there began investigating Rome’s disappearance, they spoke with a woman who lived in Rome’s home — Patricia Tito, according to a Facebook post by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Tito allegedly told investigators that she operated his business and last she heard, Rome had gone on a trip. She denied any knowledge of foul play, deputies said.

Patricia Tito, 1994 (Las Vegas Police Department via Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office)

In April 1986, the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office — a law enforcement agency four hours away between Lafayette and Shreveport — opened a homicide investigation after human remains were recovered from a water well in Many, Louisiana.

For 35 years, the remains sat in evidence unidentified — the case and body only ever referred to as “The Man In The Well,” the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

But in 2021, the mystery was solved and the remains were confirmed to be those of Lester Rome.

The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office reviewed Rome’s missing person case and determined they wanted to speak with Tito. Easy to track down, Tito is currently in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections serving a sentence for a 2003 homicide in Shreveport.

When detectives were interviewing Tito, she told investigators Rome was killed in Grand Isle and his remains were dumped in Sabine Parish, according to the Facebook post by Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

In Spring 2022, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office met with Tito and she agreed to bring them to the location where Rome was murdered, they said. She allegedly told investigators she was present during the murder, but placed responsibility for the crime solely on Devin Avard Sibley. Tito said Sibley eventually left Grand Isle and took Rome’s remains with him, the Facebook post said.

Based on Tito’s admissions and information from the interview, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed Sibley as a person of interest in Rome’s murder, they said. Further investigation showed Lowe’s remains were found on a property formerly owned by Sibley’s family, authorities said.

Investigators issued arrest warrants for Tito and Sibley for second degree murder in the death of Rome.

“While the level of her involvement is not entirely clear, and despite her protestations of innocence, Tito obviously had knowledge of Mr. Rome’s death and failed to make any effort to notify law enforcement or a member of his family between 1984 and 2021,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement on Facebook.

More Law&Crime Coverage: Body of teen mysteriously killed near convicted double murderer Alex Murdaugh’s estate to be exhumed and re-examined

Anyone with information about the case — or the whereabouts of Tito and Sibley in 1984 — are encouraged to call Captain Dennis Thornton of our Cold Case Unit at 504-364-5300 or contact Crimestoppers.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: