Ten people have been charged in the abduction and death in Ithaca, New York, of a homeless man reported missing in the spring, state and local authorities announced Monday.
Thomas Rath, 33, was reported missing from a homeless encampment in the city May 20, and on Aug. 3 his remains were found in a shallow grave on state land in adjacent Tioga County, State Police Capt. Lucas Anthony said.
“Rath was forcibly abducted from his encampment in the natural area behind Lowe’s in the city of Ithaca, known as the ‘Jungle,'” state police said in their statement.
Speaking at Monday’s news conference, 100 days since the victim was reported missing, Anthony offered 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 the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn, Maine, state police said. The other suspects, ages 27 to 52, each face a charge of first-degree kidnapping, as does Baez, according to state police.
It wasn’t clear whether the suspects have retained legal counsel. A 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, though it wasn’t clear whether all, some or none of those charged also lived in the encampment.
“More arrests are coming,” Anthony said.
For that reason, officials were tight-lipped about a possible motive or about how Rath died. They don’t want to show their hand when it comes to evidence.
Anthony said that Rath was abducted and died in about 24 hours and that those allegedly involved “were all familiar with each other.”
“Motive is something we’ll be addressing more in the court proceedings,” he said.
The investigation included an early June search of a home Rath visited, authorities said, as well as the search for remains, which ended with the discovery Aug. 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 weren’t “a driving factor.”
The case will be prosecuted in Tioga County because that’s where Rath’s remains were found, he said.
Ithaca’s acting police chief, Lt. Ted Schwartz, addressed the victim’s plight at Monday’s news conference, saying, “The people who most often rely on the police are the most vulnerable.”