After 23 Years, Man Wanted for Missoula Murder Arrested in Texas

By Beacon Staff

SAN ANTONIO – After 23 years on the run, a man wanted for murder in Montana has been arrested near San Antonio.

Robert Chickene is accused of shooting and killing his girlfriend, Paula Rodriguez, near Missoula, Mont., in 1985 and dumping her body on the outskirts of Missoula, Missoula County Sheriff’s Detective Scott Newell said.

Missoula police say Chickene had been living under a false identity because of other run-ins with the law. Detectives say when Rodriguez found out about his criminal history, she threatened to expose him.

A police officer found her body wrapped in a tarp in a creek west of Missoula in November 1985. She had been shot to death.

Chickene, 57, was recently featured on the television show “America’s Most Wanted.”

He was arrested Thursday after police were sent to investigate drug use at a trailer park near San Antonio.

When questioned, Chickene gave a different name, which officers couldn’t find in their computers, Detective Mike Russo said.

“That raised some red flags,” Russo told the San Antonio Express-News.

Chickene was taken into custody and fingerprinted, which revealed that he has been a fugitive since 1985.

Roger and Elida Sauceda, managers of Twin Lane Mobile Park, told the newspaper that Chickene lived there for more than eight years under the alias Tim Morris. They said Chickene never caused them problems and that he worked as a caddie at a nearby golf course.

Chickene was being held at the Bexar County Jail on two out-of-state warrants, charging murder and tampering with government documents. Bail was set at $265,000.