PASADENA ( — A 72-year-old man Tuesday pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in connection with his wife’s death in 2001.

Richard Keith Cole was arrested Sunday at a Pasadena restaurant.

Cole’s wife, Charlotte, was 50 years old when she was found stabbed to death inside her van behind a Coco’s restaurant in Arcadia.

“She was stabbed multiple times and brutally murdered,” said Nicole Nishida from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Police never found the victim’s car keys or the murder weapon.

Although Cole was a person of interest for years, Nishida said, “The case, unfortunately, remained open. For about a decade, it was a cold case.”

The sheriff’s department revisited the crime in 2011, and detectives served a search warrant at Cole’s home in Arcadia.

Cole was arrested, but later released pending further investigation.

“This past year, (police) gathered even more evidence and were able to secure a murder warrant for Mr. Cole’s arrest,” said Nishida.

Cole remains in jail on $1 million bail.

He’s due back in court Jan. 15.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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