Burnet police arrested a 45-year-old man for the murder of Nancy Holt Lord, almost a year after her death.
On Wednesday, Dec. 30, police charged Adrian Lee Vega of Burnet with capital murder after he confessed to killing the 75-year-old woman.
Lord went missing on Jan. 6, 2020, after she checked out of a Burnet motel. Her son met with Burnet County sheriff’s deputies four days later to report her missing and that he feared she was dead. Later that day, police found Lord’s body in a well in the 300 block of West Brier Street.
Law enforcement’s attention turned to Vega early in the investigation after deputies and police investigators linked him to the woman’s credit cards. According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by Burnet Police Sgt. Ron Sillavan, Burnet County Sheriff’s Office and Burnet police investigators found several “suspicious transactions” Jan. 7 on Lord’s credit cards.
Investigators learned that Vega had Lord’s credit cards and used one again on Jan. 11.
Police picked up Vega for questioning, but he did not admit to having any knowledge of the woman’s death at the time. He claimed to have found the credit cards in a bag. Officers charged Vega with seven counts of credit card abuse and booked him into the Burnet County Jail on Jan. 11. He was released March 30.
Lord’s death remained under investigation, and a break came Wednesday when Burnet police responded to a call at Hill Country Fellowship, 200 Houston Clinton Drive.
According to the affidavit, Sillavan heard Vega’s name come up in a conversation between responding officers and dispatch.
Sillavan arrived on the scene at 8:18 a.m. and asked Vega if he would come to the police station and discuss the Lord case. Sillavan informed Vega that he wasn’t in custody and was free to leave at any time, according to the affidavit.
After about an hour and 45 minutes at the police station, Vega accompanied Sillavan and another officer to where he told investigators in January that he found Lord’s bag containing her credit cards.
According to the affidavit, Vega also showed Sillavan where he tossed the bag after taking the cards. Vega, however, told Sillavan he had never seen the well where Lord’s body was found.
The officers and Vega returned to the police station, where Sillavan reminded him that he wasn’t in custody and free to leave.
As the two talked, Vega told Sillavan, “I did it,” according to the affidavit, When Sillavan inquired to what he did, Vega admitted to killing Lord. During followup questions, Vega provided further evidence linking him to the woman’s murder.
Burnet County Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Lisa Whitehead, who signed the arrest warrant, ordered Vega held with no bond.