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Daughter accused of killing Charles Sartin, former seafood restaurateur

SABINE PASS — Charles Sartin, who founded a once popular seafood restaurant bearing his name in Sabine Pass, was found killed in a Tremont Street home; his daughter arrested for the crime.

Port Arthur police received a call around 4:19 a.m. Monday for a welfare check at a home in the 5300 block of Tremont Street.

A PAPD patrol officer was sent to the home and was met by a family member. Once inside he found the victim, an 81-year-old man, dead from blunt force trauma to the head and upper part of the body, Port Arthur Police Det. Mike Hebert said.

Police declined to identify the victim but community members provided the name as well as Justice of the Peace Pct. 7 Brad Burnett.

The family member who met with police at the home was Kelli Diedre Sartin, 53, the daughter of the victim. She was brought to the police station, where she made a statement to police for questioning and was charged with the murder.

Kelli Diedre Sartin

Hebert did not elaborate on a possible motive but said the suspect made a statement to police.

The Tremont Street home is not far from the 4-way stop in the small community where most homes, including the one where Sartin’s body found, are on piers and travel trailers dot the landscape sporadically.

Hebert said Sabine Pass is an “overall quiet, quiet place where everybody knows everybody.”

While a suspect is behind bars, many questions remain including how long Sartin was dead and when was the last time he was seen. Those remain under investigation by PAPD’s Criminal Investigation Division.

Burnett said an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.

“It looks like a terrible murder,” Burnett said. “It is still under investigation and it looks like the body was down for several days.”

An employee at a convenience store in town who did not give her name said “everybody loved Charles to death” but declined to be interviewed further.

Sabine Pass resident Scottie Ray knew Charles Sartin, as did many others.

“Charles was loved and very respected by all Sabine Pass Community members,” Ray said.