Yesterday morning around 11am, the New York State Police held a press conference at SP Ithaca on Dryden Road for an update on the missing persons case of Thomas Rath.
Rath has been missing since May 20th,and was last seen in the area known as “The Jungle” in the City of Ithaca. On June 30th, officials revealed they believed Rath was kidnapped and possibly murdered.
“It revealed a particularly disturbing and a heinous serious of events which ultimately revealed the kidnapping and murder of Mr. Rath.” Said New York State Police Troop C Major, Jeffery VanAuken during the press conference.
VanAuken continued on to say the investigation spanned two counties, Tompkins and Tioga, and also the State of Maine. Captain Lucas Anthony, Troop C Bureau of Criminal Investigation spoke next during the conference regarding the case, noting yesterday marked the 100th day of Rath’s disappearance.
“There have been numerous search warrants. Operations with our Special Operations Response Team. Lots of interviews.” Captain Anthony said.
Captain Anthony continued with a timeline that lead to the press conference held:
- May 20th: Thomas Rath is abducted from his encampment at “The Jungle.” Ithaca Police respond to a welfare check on Rath with the investigation beginning on “limited” information.
- May 26th: More information is collected indicating Rath’s disappearance as suspicious. New York State Police begin to assist in the case.
- May 31st: Police execute a search warrant at 70 Benjamin Hill Road in Newfield based on information collected showing Rath was at the residence.
- June 2nd: A large-scale foot search is conducted around the property of 70 Benjamin Hill Road, which include over 80 police officers, and volunteers from the Tompkins and Tioga Search and Rescue.
“In the days and weeks following that search, over forty search warrants were authored and executed in various locations.” Captain Anthony said of the effort conducted by officers into Rath’s disappearance.
It was then on August 3rd, when the remains of Thomas Rath were found buried in a shallow grave on state land in the Town of Candor. Police say Rath was murdered less than 24 hours after his kidnapping.
Arrests into the kidnapping and murder of Rath began on August 16th, with the most recent arrest occurring on August 24th.
Two were arrested and charged with Murder in the 2nd (Class A Felony), 48 year old Angelo Baez and 31 year old Jonathan Glennon. Baez was also charged with Kidnapping in the 1st, a Felony.
Eight others were charged for their connection and all face the charge of Kidnapping in the 1st, a Felony. They are: 31 year old Colleen E. Dillon, of Newfield, 30 year old Zayne G. Burlingame, of Ithaca, 35 year old Mark F. Beatty, of Ithaca, 52 year old Robert W. Hines, of Candor, 43 year old Neraida A. Sobrado-Torres of Ithaca, 39 year old Jack J. Benjamin Jr. of Ithaca, 27 year old Brelynn B. Vorrasi, of Lodi, and 36 year old Justin M. Knapp of Ithaca.
Captain Anthony says more arrests are pending and the investigation remains ongoing. When asked if Rath had any connection to the group, Captain Anthony said they were familiar with each other and this wasn’t a random act of violence.
A motive or cause of death was not revealed during the press conference.