NYPD says they have new tip in Robert Durst case

The NYPD says it has received a new lead in its 35-year-old investigation of Robert Durst — but a lawyer representing the family of his presumed-dead first wife says cops are creating “the illusion” of an ongoing case.

NYPD Missing Persons Detective Monty Velez says in an affidavit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court that the department received a new tip in November about the disappearance of Kathie Durst in 1982.

“Although Ms. Durst disappeared nearly 36 years ago, her case is the subject of an open law enforcement investigation, as NYPD continues to actively follow-up on leads that may come in,” Velez said.

“In fact, NYPD received a new lead just last month, which I am actively pursuing. Ultimately, if NYPD determines that a crime was committed, a perpetrator may be apprehended and a prosecution can still occur.”

The revelation came as part of a lawsuit pitting a lawyer for Kathie Durst’s sisters against the NYPD.

Their attorney, Bob Abrams, seeks access to the NYPD’s case file on her disappearance for separate litigation against Robert Durst in Nassau County. The NYPD denied the request, citing an ongoing investigation.

The lawsuit seeking documents from the NYPD investigation, filed in October, alleged that detectives worked with an ex-cop hired by the Durst family to cover up the demented real estate scion’s role in his wife’s death.

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LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 21: Real Estate Heir Robert Durst appears in the Airport Branch of the Los Angeles County Superior Court during a preliminary hearing on December 21, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Durst is charged with capital murder in a friend's killing Susan Berman in 2000. (Photo by Jae C. Hong-Pool\Getty Images)
Lawyers (L-R) David Chesnoff and Dick DeGuerin argue their client, New York real estate scion Robert Durst, while he appears in the Los Angeles Superior Court Airport Branch for a pre-trial motions hearing involving witnesses that are expected to testify before the trial in Los Angeles, California on January 6, 2017. The 73-year-old Durst, whose bizarre life was the focus of an acclaimed HBO series, is charged with the 2000 execution-style killing of longtime friend Susan Berman. / AFP / POOL / Mark Boster (Photo credit should read MARK BOSTER/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 14: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Best quality available) In this handout provided by the Orleans Parish Sheriffs Office, OPSO, Robert Durst poses for a mugshot photo after being arrested and detained March 14, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Family member of a prominent New York City real estate empire and subject of a HBO series, Durst has been arrested on a first-degree murder warrant issued by police in Los Angeles related to the death of his friend, Susan Berman. (Photo by Orleans Parish Sheriffs Office via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 20: Robert Durst of the Durst Organization, Inc. (Photo by Bill Turnbull/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 6: Judge Mark E. Windham speaks from the bench about during a pre-trial motions hearing for New York real estate scion Robert Durst in the Los Angeles Superior Court Airport Branch involving witnesses that are expected to testify before the trial January 6, 2017. (Photo by Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
New York real estate scion Robert Durst has a lighter moment with his attorney Dick DeGuerin while appearing in the Los Angeles Superior Court Airport Branch for a pre-trial motions hearing involving witnesses that are expected to testify before the trial in Los Angeles, California on January 6, 2017. The 73-year-old Durst, whose bizarre life was the focus of an acclaimed HBO series, is charged with the 2000 execution-style killing of longtime friend Susan Berman. / AFP / POOL / Mark Boster (Photo credit should read MARK BOSTER/AFP/Getty Images)
Photographers gather at an entrance to the courthouse where Robert Durst appeared for a bail hearing in New Orleans, Louisiana March 23, 2015. Durst, the real estate scion awaiting extradition to California to face a murder charge, was denied bail after a judge deemed him to be a potential danger to others and a likely flight risk. REUTERS/Lee Celano
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Real Estate Heir Robert Durst appears in the Airport Branch of the Los Angeles County Superior Court on November 7, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Durst has pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of a friend Susan Berman in 2000. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
Robert Durst sits in a police vehicle as he leaves a courthouse in New Orleans, Louisiana March 17, 2015. Durst, scion of one of New York's largest real estate empires, was charged on gun and drug charges, after he was arrested in New Orleans on a murder warrant issued by Los Angeles County Saturday. REUTERS/Lee Celano (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW)
New York real estate scion Robert Durst appears in the Los Angeles Superior Court Airport Branch for a pre-trial motions hearing involving witnesses that are expected to testify before the trial in Los Angeles, California on January 6, 2017. The 73-year-old Durst, whose bizarre life was the focus of an acclaimed HBO series, is charged with the 2000 execution-style killing of longtime friend Susan Berman. / AFP / POOL / Mark Boster (Photo credit should read MARK BOSTER/AFP/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA MARCH 16, 2015: Robert Durst, wealthy NY real estate heir, has been arrested in connection with the murder of his friend Susan Berman. The crime allegedly was commited by Durst inside this home in Beverly Hills in 2000. A camerman films the exterior of the home. (Francine Orr/ LA Times via Getty Images)
The director of HBO’s docu-series “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” discusses the shocking final moments of the show’s finale.
During the final episode of HBO's 'The Jinx,' Robert Durst was accidentally recorded saying he 'killed them all, of course.'
Robert Durst, a member of one of New York's wealthiest families and the subject of an HBO documentary, could face charges over a 15-year-old murder.
Daily News front page December 1, 2001, Headline: NABBED - Millionaire murder suspect Robert Durst caught stealing sandwich (Photo By: /NY Daily News via Getty Images)
Daily News page 8 and 9, November 11, 2000, Headline: Trial heats up in missing wife mystery - Cops shake the dust off '82 Durst case. By a stone cottage in northern Westchester, the pieces of an 18-year-old mystery, the celebrated disappearance of Kathleen Durst are slowing being put together. After more than a decade of inactivity, state police investigators have reopened the Durst case, chasing leads that again focus suspicion on her wealthy husband, real estate heir Robert Durst, law enforcement sources told the Daily News.(Photo By: /NY Daily News via Getty Images)
Daily News front page February 9, 1982, Headline: WIFE MISSING; 100G REWARD - Real estate tycoon's son asks for search - Medical student Kathleen Durst, wife of real estate tycoon Robert Durst and daughter-in-law of Seymour Durst, has been missing since Jan. 31, and the family has offered a $100,000 reward for information. She was last seen at her Riverside Drive apartment house. (Photo By: /NY Daily News via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: Robert Durst of the Durst Organization, Inc., 133 6th Ave., New York City. (Photo by Bill Turnbull/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Robert Durst waived extradition Monday morning during a court appearance in New Orleans. He is expected to be sent to Los Angeles to face murder charges.
Robert Durst in a wheelchair arrives for his his arraignment on capital murder charges in the death of Susan Berman, with one of his lawyer David Z. Chesnoff (L) looking on, in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 7, 2016. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian
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Kathie Durst was officially declared dead earlier this year, though her body has never been found.

The NYPD is “grasping at straws,” Abrams wrote in papers arguing the department should turn over the Durst case file.

The NYPD has “not actively pursued and/or investigated Kathie’s disappearance for over 30 years, and have no intention of conducting a further investigation,” he wrote.

Robert Durst, 74, is facing trial in Los Angeles for killing his best friend Susan Berman in 2000 out of fear she was about to speak to investigators about Kathie's disappearance.

Former NYPD Detective Michael Struk testified last month in Los Angeles that any suggestion the department protected Durst was “bulls--t.”

But he also admitted to sleeping with a witness three decades ago.

Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney John Lewin called the NYPD investigation “well-intentioned” but “incompetent.”

The NYPD says its investigation continues, citing Velez’s sworn statement as justification for rejecting Abrams’ Freedom of Information Law request for the case file.

Abrams, of the firm Abrams Fensterman, says in papers the timing of the new tip is “curious.”

Kathie's brother Jim McCormack, who is not a party to the Nassau County case, told the Daily News the supposed tip "doesn't pass the sniff test."

He last spoke to NYPD detectives in 2001, he said.

“If there really is a tip, if they're sincere about pursuing closure and justice, I would be more than happy to have them call me," he said.

“I would love to at least have a conversation."

A Law Department spokesman declined to comment.

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