CHEMUNG COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) – A fourth person has been arrested in connection to the Chemung County torture-murder case.
According to New York State Police, an unnamed 17-year-old male was apprehended in McDonough, Georgia on Friday in connection to the kidnapping, torture, and murder of 38-year-old Juan Jose Gotay in Chemung County.
According to the Chemung County District Attorney’s Office, the teen has been charged with Murder in
the Second Degree, Kidnapping the First Degree, two counts of Assault in the First Degree, and two counts of Assault in the Second Degree.
The teen was not charged with Murder in the First Degree because he was not 18 at the time of the crime but only 16 years old.
The teen was arraigned in Chemung County Family Court and is being held in a juvenile detention center.
Malik Weems (18), Eddie Marte (25), and Thomas Bovaird (21) were arrested and indicted over the last two weeks for their alleged roles in the case.
Bovaird, of Horseheads, was indicted for first-degree murder, kidnapping in the first degree, two counts of assault in the first degree, and two counts of assault in the second degree. He was remanded to the Chemung County Jail and is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 22 for motions.
Weems and Marte were indicted for first degree murder, four counts of first degree kidnapping, and two counts each of first and degree assault. The two are also alleged to have kidnapped a second man, Joseph Waters, in early April 2021 with the intent of demanding ransom.
Court documents allege that Weems and Marte restrained Waters for a period of more than 12 hours with the intent to cause physical injury to him.
At this time, Bovaird has not been indicted for the kidnapping of Waters and it’s unknown what or any connection he had to that case.
Disclaimer: the following details may be disturbing for some readers.
According to Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore, the victim Juan Jose Gotay was 38-years-old when he was kidnapped, tortured, mutilated, and left to die in rural Pennsylvania.
Gotay’s body was recovered bound by an electrical cord by Pennsylvania State Police in April, nearly four months after he was kidnapped on or around Jan. 29 or 30, 2021.
While still living, Gotay was subjected to multiple traumatic injuries caused by his kidnappers, including gunshot wounds to his shoulder and leg; permanent and mutilating injuries to his eyes caused by a pointed instrument; burns that caused disfigurement to his ears and buttocks; mutilating injuries to his tongue, injuries to his jaw, mouth, and teeth caused by repeated kicking and beating; and multiple broken ribs and fingers.
According to the indictment, Gotay was still alive when his kidnappers left his body in Pennslyvania. Officials confirmed that Gotay’s body was the one recovered along Route 6 in Potter County back in April.
Very limited information could be found on Gotay online, including no obituary or prominent social media presence.
The case is in connection to the large New York State Police presence at two homes on 427 Partridge St. and 319 West Ave in Elmira on May 5 where police dug up yards and combed through both homes.
Weems and Marte were previously arrested on April 27 in the City of Geneva after someone was held at gunpoint, kidnapped, and tortured.
In the Ontario County case, Weems and Marte face kidnapping, burglary, and robbery charges. A third man, 62-year-old Thomas Ferraro, was arrested in connection to the Ontario County case but has not been named in connection to the Chemung County investigation.
Investigators say the Ontario County victim was punched and kicked in the face and torso, beaten with belts and cords, and burned with a hot knife.
Investigators in Ontario County say police found a stolen handgun, another handgun, 1 pound of crystal methamphetamine, 1.4 pounds of heroin, 1 ounce of suspected cocaine, and $5,000 cash while executing three search warrants in the case. They say the drugs alone are worth roughly $75,000.
Marte and Weems were arrested in the Ontario County Jail in connection to the Chemung County case. The Chemung County District Attorney’s Office says Marte is from New York City and that Weems is from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
18 News will have more information on this story as it becomes available.