Ten people have been charged in the kidnapping and death in Ithaca, New York, of a homeless man who went missing in the spring, state and local authorities said Monday.
Thomas Rath, 33, was reported missing from a homeless encampment in the city on May 20 and on August 3 his remains were found in a shallow grave on public land in adjacent Tioga County , State Police Capt. Lucas Anthony said.
“Rath was forcibly removed from his encampment in the natural area behind Lowe’s in the town of Ithaca, known as ‘The Jungle’,” state police said in their statement.
Speaking at Monday’s press conference, 100 days after the victim was reported missing, Anthony offered his condolences to Rath’s loved ones. “Mr. Rath was the victim. But to his family he was a father, a brother, a son.”
Two of the 10 people arrested and charged, Angelo Baez, 48, and Jonathan Glennon, 31, face the most serious allegations: second-degree murder charges, state police said in a statement.
Glennon was in Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn, Maine, state police said. The other suspects, ages 27 to 52, each face a first-degree kidnapping charge, as does Baez, according to state police.
It was unclear whether the suspects had retained the services of a lawyer. The public defender’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The suspects and the victim all resided in the Ithaca area, Anthony said, although it was unclear whether all, some or none of those charged also lived in the camp.
“More arrests are to come,” Anthony said.
Because of this, officials have remained tight-lipped about a possible motive or how Rath died. They don’t want to show their hand when it comes to evidence.
Anthony said Rath was abducted and died in about 24 hours and those allegedly involved “all knew each other”.
“Motive is something that we will address more in court proceedings,” he said.
The investigation included a search in early June of a home Rath visited, authorities said, as well as a search for remains, which ended with the discovery on August 3. Investigators conducted hundreds of interviews and executed more than 40 search warrants, they said.
Drugs may play a role on the periphery of the case, Anthony said, but they are not “a determining factor.”
The case will be prosecuted in Tioga County because that’s where Rath’s remains were found, he said.
Acting Ithaca Police Chief Lt. Ted Schwartz addressed the victim’s plight at Monday’s press conference, saying, “The people who rely on the police most often are the most vulnerable.” »