For nearly forty years, residents of Sabine Parish have heard the tales of the "Man in the Well."

Scores of rumors circulated as to who the man might be and how he came to be at the bottom of the well.

On Monday, October 18, those rumors and speculations were all settled when Sabine Parish Coroner Dr. Mark Holder issued a Fact of Death Certificate stating the skeletal remains recovered from the well were those of Lester Rome.

This story began in 1984 when 58 year old Lester Rome from Grand Isle, Louisiana was reported missing to Jefferson Parish authorities.

Little information on his disappearance was known until April of 1986, when a Sabine Parish landowner discovered human skeletal remains in a water well on his property. Some of the skeletal remains were recovered at the time, but a positive identification was unable to be determined.

27 years later, in October of 2013, LSU Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services Laboratory made a possible connection with the remains from the well and Lester Rome. The skeletal remains had shotgun pellets embedded in the pelvic area and it was discovered that some years prior to his disappearance, Rome had been shot in the abdomen area with a shotgun. However, investigators were still unable to positively identify Rome as the man at the bottom of the well.

Once again the investigation heated up on December 10, 2020, when former D.A. Investigator Ted Delacerda, provided several news clippings and photographs about the case to the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office.

This led to an unsuccessful attempt in February of 2021 for Sabine Parish Sheriff Detectives to recover more skeletal remains from the well.

However, just a couple of months later in April of 2021, with help from Central Sabine Fire Department’s confined space entry team personnel, more skeletal remains and other items of evidence were recovered from inside the well.

After thorough investigation, those remains were able to be positively identified as those of Mr. Rome.

Sabine Parish Sheriff Detectives are still investigating this case and searching for more information that may lead to the person(s) responsible for the death of Lester Rome.

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