ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Two suspects in the Chemung County Torture-Murder case have been transferred to the Chemung County Jail.
Eddie Marte and Malik Weems were being held in the Ontario County Jail on separate kidnapping, burglary, and robbery charges in connection to an April torture investigation in Geneva.
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.
In Chemung County, Weems and Marte were indicted for first degree murder, four counts of first degree kidnapping, and two counts each of first and degree assault in connection to the murder of Juan Jose Gotay.
Marte and Weems are also alleged to have kidnapped a second man, Joseph Waters, in early April 2021 with the intent of demanding ransom.
The first suspect arrested for Gotay’s murder, Thomas Bovaird of Horseheads, was indicted in September 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. Bovaird has been in the Chemung County jail since his arrest.
A fourth suspect in the case, a 17-year-old male, was arrested in Georgia and is being held in a youth detention facility in New York.
According to Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore, the crimes connected to Gotay’s murder in January initially started at 427 Partridge Street and then continued to 319 West Avenue.
Wetmore said Gotay, of New York City, knew his alleged kidnappers but could not provide any details on why Gotay was in Elmira or what his background was, saying those details are relevant to the case.
An obituary could not be located for Gotay, nor were there any social media accounts that appeared to be his.
Disclaimer: the following details may be disturbing for some readers.
Gotay was 38-years-old when he was kidnapped, tortured, mutilated, and left to die while bound by an electrical cord in rural Pennsylvania. Court documents show Gotay was kidnapped on or around Jan. 29 or 30, 2021, and State Police in Pennsylvania say his body was recovered along Route 6 in April.
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.
Wetmore says there was no missing persons report or investigation leading up to when Gotay’s body was found in April bound by an electrical cord.
As for why the body was dumped in Potter County, Wetmore said the investigation didn’t look for a reason, “other than convenience” or due to the ruralness of the area.
If convicted of first-degree murder, the suspects Bovaird, Weems, and Marte could each face life in prison. The unidentified minor that was indicted faces a maximum penalty of 25 years to life in prison, but he was indicted for second-degree murder.