Chemung County torture killing: Who was the victim Juan Jose Gotay?

Chemung County Torture-Murder Case

(WETM) – New details were released tonight regarding Juan Jose Gotay, the victim in a disturbing torture-murder case in Chemung County.

According to Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore, Gotay was 38-years-old when he was allegedly kidnapped, tortured, mutilated, and left to die in rural Pennsylvania by Thomas Bovaird of Horseheads and an undisclosed number of accomplices.

District Attorney Wetmore says Gotay was from the New York City area, but was not exactly sure which of the five boroughs Gotay lived in.

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.

Disclaimer: the following details may be disturbing for some readers.

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 May.

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.

Bovaird, a Horseheads native, 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. Bovaird is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 22 for motions.

More arrests are possible in the coming days connected to the case and officials expect to release more information next week.

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