Tennessee man arrested in Idaho cold case killing

July 7, 2018 GMT

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) — More than 14 years after an Idaho wife and mother went missing, her husband has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with her death.

Stephen Mathew Lott, who lives in Tennessee, appeared in Bonner County Magistrate Court in Idaho on Thursday where bail was set at $1 million.

Authorities in charging documents say the now 48-year-old man killed Christine Lott, a 34-year-old mother of three, on March 25, 2004 in northern Idaho.

Her body was found in a remote area of Kootenai County in February 2016.


“This case then became a joint investigation with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office,” Bonner County Undersheriff Ror Lakewold said in a statement. “A substantial amount of follow-up continued, to include examination of evidence and follow-up interviews. Those investigative findings continued to lead detectives towards Stephen Lott as being the primary person of interest.”

Lott’s public defender didn’t return a call from The Associated Press.

Police say that after Christine Lott disappeared, Stephen Lott told investigators that he went to a grocery store while his wife used a payphone outside the store. He said he saw his wife get into a red pickup with a Washington license plate and drive away.

However, police say Lott wrote a family member in June saying his wife died by suicide.

“This information was contradictory to anything he had told detectives during this investigation,” Lakewold said.

Court records say a Bonner County grand jury indicted Lott last month, and he was arrested in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on June 19.