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Louisiana Cold Case “The Man in The Well” is cracked nearly 40 years later: Deputies

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

Lester Rome, 58, disappeared almost 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 – just off the Louisiana coast.

A month later — and a two-hour drive north towards New Orleans — the Jefferson Township Sheriff’s Office took over the investigation. When detectives there began investigating Rome’s disappearance, they spoke to a woman who lived at Rome’s home — Patricia Tito, according to a Facebook post from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Tito allegedly told investigators that she was running his business and was last heard that Rome had gone on a trip. She denied any knowledge of foul play, MPs 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 murder investigation after human remains were recovered from a water well in Many, Louisiana.

For 35 years, the remains lay unidentified as evidence — the case and body have always been 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 Township Sheriff’s Office reviewed the Rome missing person’s case and decided that they wanted to speak to Tito. Easily tracked down, Tito is currently in custody at the Louisiana Department of Justice, where he is serving a sentence for a 2003 murder in Shreveport.

When detectives questioned Tito, she told investigators Rome was killed on Grand Isle and his remains were disposed of at Sabine Parish, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Facebook post.

In the spring of 2022, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office met with Tito and they agreed to take her to the site where Rome was murdered, they said. She allegedly told investigators she was present during the murder but accepted responsibility for the crime solely via 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 has confirmed Sibley as a person of interest in Rome’s murder, they said. Further investigation revealed that Lowe’s remains were found on property formerly owned by Sibley’s family, authorities said.

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

“Although the extent of their involvement is not entirely clear, and despite their pleas of innocence, Tito appears to have been aware of Mr. Rome’s death and made no effort to notify law enforcement or any member of his family between 1984 and 2021,” the office of the Sheriffs in a statement on Facebook.

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

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