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Defendant: Esdras Marroquin Gomez AKA “Victor” (DOB 04/02/85)

May 6, 2019 -- Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced that the defendant in the 2015 brutal murder of 83-year-old Lois Elizabeth Colley of North Salem pleaded guilty today.

Esdras Marroquin Gomez entered his plea of guilty to Murder in the Second Degree, a class A-1 felony, before Westchester County Court Judge George Fufidio. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for June 13, 2019.

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr.: “Today we announce a guilty plea in the horrific death of Lois Colley whose life was taken in the most brutal fashion. This plea by the defendant comes after intense investigations by our office with our partners in the New York State Police and the FBI. I would like to commend our prosecutors ADAs Julia Cornachio, James Bavero and Jonathan Strongin for the years of work that have gone into this. And we thank the State Police and FBI investigators for their tireless efforts. Sending Marroquin Gomez to prison will not bring Lois Colley back but we hope it will bring some closure to her family knowing that justice has been done.”

Troop K Commander, Major Richard L. Mazzone: “The murder of Lois Colley is a heartbreaking tragedy. From the onset, the State Police worked tirelessly to bring justice to both Lois and the Colley family. I am very proud of the dedication my Investigators exhibited despite the challenges of apprehending a suspect hiding in a foreign country. Though we cannot bring Lois back, we honor her memory, and have hopefully brought some small quantity of closure to Lois and the Colley family through our collective and relentless investigation.”

William F. Sweeney, Assistant Director-in-Charge FBI New York: "One of our most important assets in the FBI is our partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies.  This case shows our ability to reach beyond the borders of this country so criminals hoping to evade capture and elude justice understand they can't hide forever.  Justice doesn't bring back the lost but it does give the family closure and a chance to move forward.”

Background
On Nov. 9, 2015, around 5 p.m., a farmworker found the body of Lois Colley lying in a pool of blood in her home laundry room, bludgeoned to death. Mrs. Colley suffered severe trauma to the head and face. The elderly matriarch of a prominent family had been alone in the North Salem home when the staff worker found her and called her husband, Eugene Colley, who was still at work.

During the initial investigation, New York State Police found what appeared to be a pin from a discharged fire extinguisher near her body. In searching the 300-acre horse farm, investigators found the extinguisher wrapped in a plastic bag in a pond on the property. Tests by forensic scientists at the Westchester County Crime Lab determined Mrs. Colley’s DNA was present and confirmed it was the murder weapon.

The investigation by New York State Police and the District Attorney’s Office included hundreds of interviews, phone records and video surveillance. In early 2016, a former day laborer, Esdras Marroquin Gomez AKA “Victor,” became a person of interest. Investigators found he had fled the area and had flown to Guatemala Nov. 14, 2015, four days after the murder.

After an intensive international and multijurisdictional manhunt, with the cooperation of the U.S. Department of State and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Marroquin Gomez was located ultimately in Mexico and returned to Westchester County.

In the interim, Marroquin Gomez had been indicted by a Westchester County Grand Jury on a charge of Murder in the Second Degree. He was arraigned on the indictment in Westchester County Court in November 2017 and since then has been in custody awaiting trial.

Prosecutors say the motive for the killing stemmed from a dispute with the Colley family starting in 2012, while Gomez was a day laborer on the farm.

Assistant District Attorneys Julia Cornachio, Bureau Chief, Jonathan Strongin, Deputy Bureau Chief, and James Bavero of the Superior Court Trial Division prosecuted the case.

 

men and women in court room

Esdras Marroquin Gomez aka “Victor” entering his plea

 In compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3.6, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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