10 arrested in kidnapping, murder of missing Ithaca man

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New York State Police and the City of Ithaca Police Department held a joint press conference at SP Ithaca in Dryden on Monday, updating the public on missing person Thomas P. Rath, 33, of Ithaca, NY.  Members of the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department, Tioga County District Attorney Kirk Martin and Tompkins County District Attorney Matt Van Houten were also in attendance.

Monday, marked the 100th day since Rath went missing.  After a months long investigation with hundreds of interviews, Investigators were able to determine that Rath was forcibly kidnapped from the natural area behind Lowes in the city of Ithaca, known as the “Jungle” then murdered.  The investigation spanned Tompkins County, Tioga County and into the state of Maine.

A total of ten people have been arrested, more arrests are expected.  The arrests began on August 16 and continued through August 24.  They include:

Angelo Baez, age 48 of Ithaca, NY

  • Murder in the second degree, class “A” felony
  • Kidnapping in the first degree, class “A” felony

Jonathan Glennon, age 31 of Ithaca, NY (currently at Androscoggin Jail, Maine)

  • Murder in the second degree, class “A” felony

Colleen E. Dillon, age 31 of Newfield, NY

  • Kidnapping in the first degree, class “A” felony

Zayne G. Burlingame, age 30 of Ithaca, NY

  • Kidnapping in the first degree, class “A” felony

Mark F. Beatty, age 35 of Ithaca, NY

  • Kidnapping in the first degree, class “A” felony

Robert W. Hines, age 52 of Candor, NY

  • Kidnapping in the first degree, class “A” felony

Neraida A. Sobrado-Torres, age 43 of Ithaca

  • Kidnapping in the first degree, class “A” felony

Jack J. Benjamin Jr., age 39 of Ithaca, NY

  • Kidnapping in the first degree, class “A” felony

Brelynn B. Vorrasi, age 27 of Lodi, NY

  • Kidnapping in the first degree, class “A” felony

Justin M. Knapp, age 36 of Ithaca, NY

  • Kidnapping in the first degree, class “A” felony

The outcome of this case is a result of thousands of hours of work. Here is a timeline of the events:

On May 20, 2023, Rath was forcibly abducted from his encampment in the natural area behind Lowes in the city of Ithaca, known as the “Jungle.” On that day the Ithaca City Police Department received a call to “check the welfare.”  At that point, an investigation was initiated with very limited information.

On May 26, 2023, Investigators received more information that determined Rath’s disappearance was a result of suspicious circumstances.  On that date, Ithaca City Police requested and received assistance from the New York State Police.

On May 31, 2023, information was developed that on May 20, Rath had been at a residence located at 70 Benjamin Hill Road in the town of Newfield.  On that date, a search warrant was authored and executed for that residence.

On June 2, 2023, there was a large-scale foot search conducted in the surrounding area of 70 Benjamin Hill Road in the town of Newfield.  Over 80 law enforcement members and volunteers from Tompkins and Tioga Rescue Teams assisted in that search.

In the days after that over 40 search warrants were authored and executed at various locations.

On August 3, 2023, Rath’s remains were located buried in a shallow grave on state lands off Ekroos Road in the town of Candor, Tioga County.

On August 16, 2023, law enforcement began to make arrests, with the most recent arrest on August 24.  Thus far, ten people have been arrested; two have been charged with Murder in the second degree and nine (including one that was charge for murder) have been charged with Kidnaping in the first degree.  More arrests pending and will occur in the following weeks.  The defendants will be charged in Tioga County.

The New York State Police express their condolences to Mr. Rath’s family and requests members of the public to respect the family’s privacy.

The New York State Police also thanks the public for their patience while they conducted numerous interviews and conducted special operations in the area.

The investigation is still on-going.  Anyone with any information is still asked to call New York State Police Major Crimes at (607)561-7400.