CRIME
02/09/2013 11:43 am ET

Chester Garrett, Army Major Killed In 1977, Was Murdered By Wife And Stepson: El Paso Sheriff

In 1977, a dead Army Green Beret was found with his skull cracked in the west Texas desert.

On Thursday, more than 36 years later, Maj. Chester Garrett's estranged wife and stepson were arrested for allegedly killing him.

El Paso sheriff's detectives nabbed Lisbeth Garrett, now 74, at her cluttered home while others from the department traveled to Knoxville, Tenn., to apprehend her son Roger Garrett.

The investigation into Garrett's grisly murder had long ago grown cold. The 35-year-old's bloody body was found with 10 stab wounds in the backseat of his '72 Volkswagon, according to the Associated Press, but it was the head injury that killed him.

There were several sets of footprints outside the car and another car's tire tracks, but no sign of a struggle, the El Paso Times said.

A member of the sheriff's department in 1977 described Garrett as "almost what you'd call a superman," because of his military training.

"Whoever got him must have been mighty tough, too, and probably more than one, and probably took him by surprise," Sheriff's Capt. Mac Stout said then, the El Paso Times reported.

At the time of the decorated soldier's death, he was estranged from his wife, who was a teacher.

Requests from Maj. Garrett's relatives pushed the sheriff's office to reactivate the case in 2006, according to KTSM.

Law enforcement officials have disclosed few details about what connects Garrett's widow and stepson to his killing. They are both held on $5 million bond.

Neighbors of Lisbeth Garrett in El Paso told KFOX that the elderly woman kept to herself. She was seen so rarely that some thought her home was abandoned until detectives raised it.

Roger Garrett will go before a judge in Knoxville on Thursday for an extradition hearing.

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