NORTH SALEM, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — An arrest has been made in the murder of the matriarch of a prominent New York family.
Lois Colley, 83, was found dead inside her sprawling hilltop estate known as Windswept Farm on Titicus Road in North Salem in 2015.
A caretaker at the 300-acre manor found Colley’s body in the laundry room. State Police said Colley died of blunt force trauma and a missing fire extinguisher could be the murder weapon.
“The murder scene was horrendous. From our evaluation, we believe the murder weapon was a home fire extinguisher, and she was brutally assaulted with that,” said Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino.
There were no signs that anyone had forced their way into the home.
Esdras “Victor” Marroquin Gomez, a part-time worker at the estate, was arrested.
“He had a dispute possibly with the Colley family. The victim, with his relationship with her, I’m not sure how involved he was with her. But he did have a relationship with the family,” Scarpino said.
Prosecutors say Gomez was an undocumented day laborer who on occasion worked for the Colley family.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, prosecutors believe he went to the home — possibly to discuss a money issue — and beat the woman over the head.
“We have our theory on it. We believe there was a dispute, that he visited the house, possibly to speak to someone else in the family, and he confronted Lois.” Scarpino said.
Days after the murder, prosecutors said Gomez fled to his home country of Guatemala, and then hid out in Cancun, Mexico.
Several agencies including the New York State Police, the FBI, law enforcement in Guatemala and Mexico were searching for him.
Gomez was picked up last Tuesday. The FBI met him in Miami and transported him to Newark.
“Nothing we can do can bring her back. Hope that the family can take some solace in knowing that law enforcement has gone to great effort,” Scarpino said.
Colley’s husband Eugene made his fortune as a McDonald’s franchisee.
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