Aware of the situation: Family member claims Sartin was isolated before his murder

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, September 11, 2019

A family member of Charles Sartin, who was found dead from what appears to be blunt force trauma in his Sabine Pass home on Monday, paints a picture of a man forced into isolation by his daughter, who is charged in his murder.

From comments heard around town, Sartin, 81, was a beloved fixture in the small community. He and his wife Jerri opened Sartin’s restaurant in 1971 — it closed in 1988 after storm damage, and they employed a number of Sabine Pass students though the years.

Several longtime residents said everybody loved Charles, adding he was well respected in the community.

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The family member, who did not want to give her name for fear of retaliation, said she and two concerned citizens met with a Port Arthur police officer to check on Sartin’s welfare last Wednesday.

“He (Sartin) was pretty much on lock down. This was our only opportunity. We went over there, he (officer) knocked and knocked and knocked,” the family member said. “He said he didn’t have justification to enter the home and proceeded to tell me that if I entered the home I could have trespass charges.”

She said she called again the next day requesting a welfare check and that an officer knocked on the door but no one answered. The woman also said Adult Protective Services was aware of the “situation” for about two years.

The “situation” refers to allegations that Kelli Sartin and another family member reportedly kept Charles Sartin away from others.

The woman said that APS did call her back after they learned of Sartin’s killing.

Port Arthur Police Det. Mike Hebert said he doesn’t know if Kelli Sartin was Charles Sartin’s caregiver or if any other arrests are expected.

“That is undetermined right now,” Hebert said, indicating the investigation is in its early stages and is fluid.

In addition, investigators are reviewing all previous calls for service to the home, which is standard procedure, not just for murders, Hebert said.

Bond is set at $1 million for Kelli Diedre Sartin, who is charged with the murder of her father, Charles Sartin. An autopsy is scheduled today.

At approximately 4:19 a.m. Monday, PAPD received a call for a welfare check at the 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.

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 for questioning, where she made a statement and was charged with the murder.

Justice of the Peace Pct. 7 Brad Burnett said it appears the victim had been dead for several days.