Nearly 100 days after a multi-agency police investigation spanning two counties and two states, New York state and local law enforcement have announced the arrest of ten individuals in connection to the disturbing slaying and kidnapping of a homeless man. On May 20, 33-year-old Thomas P. Rath was reported missing from a homeless encampment in the city of Ithaca, New York. An investigation that began as a missing person’s case revealed a particularly disturbing and heinous series of events, ultimately leading to the discovery of Rath’s kidnapping and murder.
According to State Police Commander Major Jeffrey VanAuke, Rath was forcibly abducted from his encampment on May 20. His remains were found buried in a shallow grave on state land in nearby Tioga County on August 3. The motive for the crime and the cause of Rath’s death have not been released by authorities.
During a joint press conference, Ithaca’s acting police Chief, Lt. Ted Schwartz, expressed condolences to Rath’s family and emphasized the vulnerability of those who rely on the police for assistance.
Ten individuals, ranging in age from 27 to 52, have been arrested in connection to the case. Angelo Baez, Jonathan Glennon, Colleen E. Dillon, Zayne G. Burlingame, Mark F. Beatty, Robert W. Hines, Neraida A. Sobrado-Torres, Jack J. Benjamin Jr., Brelynn B. Vorrasi, and Justin M. Knapp have all been charged with various offenses, including second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping. Additional arrests are pending.
Authorities believe that the defendants knew each other and all reside in the Ithaca area. It is unclear if any of them lived in the encampment where Rath was last seen. While drugs may have played a role in the case, they were not identified as a driving factor.
Anyone with information about the ongoing investigation is urged to contact New York State Police.