Update (Sept. 1): An eleventh arrest was made in connection to Rath’s murder the morning of Aug. 31. Kysha Radcliff, age 39 of Dryden, was charged with kidnapping in the first degree. As of Sept. 1, nine people have been charged with the same crime in relation to the case, with two others facing second-degree murder charges as well. Police say more arrests will be made in the near future.
Original story from Aug. 28:
ITHACA, N.Y.—Ten people have been arrested in connection with the kidnapping and killing of Thomas Rath, of Ithaca. The arrests were announced during a Monday morning press conference at the New York State Police barracks in Freeville, with police officials saying that more arrests are expected to be made in the coming weeks.
Rath, who was 33 years old, has been missing from the homeless encampment known as “the Jungle” since May 20, 2023—100 days before Monday’s announcement. Police announced their investigation into Rath’s disappearance had evolved into a kidnapping and homicide investigation on June 28.
Two people, Angelo Baez, 48 years old of Ithaca, and Jonathan Glennon, 31 years old of Ithaca, have been charged with second-degree murder with intent. Baez has also been charged with first-degree kidnapping, and is incarcerated in Tioga County while Glennon is incarcerated in Maine, according to police. The killing allegedly took place in Tioga County.
Another eight people were arrested and charged with first-degree kidnapping in connection to the crime (ages and residences in parentheses): Colleen Dillon (31 of Newfield), Robert Hines (52 of Candor), Zayne Burlingame (30 of Ithaca), Brelynn Vorrasi (27 of Lodi), Mark Beatty (35 of Ithaca), Jack Benjamin Jr. (39 of Ithaca), Neraida Sobrado-Torres (43 of Ithaca) and Justin Knapp (36 of Ithaca).
Update (Sept. 1): Kysha Radcliff, age 39, of Dryden was charged with kidnapping in the first degree Aug. 31. As of Sept. 1, nine people have been charged with the same crime in relation to the case. Police say more arrests will be made in the near future.
All the defendants are local, and there will be more to come.
“As this missing person case evolved, it revealed a particularly disturbing and heinous series of events which ultimately revealed the kidnapping and murder of Mr. Rath,” said Jeffrey VanAuken, the commander of NYSP Troop C.
All the defendants remain incarcerated except for Burlingame, who is still facing charges but was released on Aug. 26, according to the records.
A first-degree kidnapping charge is a class A felony that can apply when a person participates in a kidnapping and the victim dies as a result, even if the person did not directly cause the victim’s death.
“This was not what we would call a random act, this is someone [Rath] was familiar with,” said Ithaca Police Department Acting Chief Ted Schwartz.
The search for Rath took police around “the Jungle,” the wider Newfield area and beyond, before they discovered Rath’s remains in a shallow grave on Aug. 3 on state lands in the Town of Candor in Tioga County, according to Capt. Lucas Anthony of the New York State Police. According to police, Rath was killed within 24 hours of being abducted.
Police did not disclose a motive or cause of death. Anthony did relay a general timeline for the development of the case, which began with a call to the Ithaca Police Department on May 20 to conduct a welfare check on Rath, the day he was abducted from his encampment in “the Jungle.” Anthony said there was little information associated with that welfare check, but that more information came to police on May 26, which led them to declare that Rath had disappeared under “suspicious circumstances.”
On May 31, police searched a house on Benjamin Hill Road in Newfield, then two days later searched a large area around the house, located at 70 Benjamin Hill Road. The results of that search warrant were not disclosed.
Police began making arrests on Aug. 16, 13 days after they discovered Rath’s body in the Town of Candor. Anthony said the other arrests took place between then and Aug. 24, though inmate records show that most of the suspects were admitted to jail between Aug. 22 and 24.
The announcement was made at a press conference with Tioga County District Attorney Kirk Martin, whose office is leading the case, Tompkins County District Attorney Matt Van Houten, and state and local law enforcement leaders.
This is a developing story and more information will be added.