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Day Laborer Charged In Murder Of North Salem Socialite Returns To Court

Esdras Marroquin Gomez Photo Credit: New York State Police
Neighbors of the Lois Colley, who was murdered in November, are anxious that police have not made an arrest or released any information. Photo Credit: New York Social Diary

The former day laborer charged in the bludgeoning death of an 83-year-old socialite on a sprawling 300-acre estate that shocked the bucolic town of North Salem and the area returned to the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains on Thursday for a pre-trial conference.

After pleading not guilty of murder in the second degree (a Class A-I felony) at his arraignment last month, 32-year-old Esdras Anibal Marroquin Gomez, known as "Victor," was remanded to the Westchester County Jail without bail.

Gomez's next scheduled appearance in Westchester County Court is Feb. 22.

Gomez, an illegal alien from Guatemala, had fled the United States after Lois Colley’s murder in Nov. 9, 2015. The 32-year-old Gomez was apprehended by the FBI in coordination with Mexican and Guatemalan authorities, who took him into custody in Cancun, Mexico on Nov. 7.

After arriving in federal custody at the LaGuardia Airport on the evening of Friday, Nov. 10, he was subsequently turned over to the New York State Police.

Gomez may have been involved in a dispute involving money with the Colley family at the time of the homicide, Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino said on Monday.

Much speculation had surrounded the homicide of the wife of multi-millionaire Eugene Colley, which occurred two years ago almost to the day. Lois Colley was bludgeoned to death late in the afternoon, with the blunt-force trauma believed to have come from a missing fire extinguisher at the couple's Windswept Farm estate.

Colley was found lying on the laundry room floor of her home by a caretaker at approximately 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. The caretaker called 911 to report the matter.

There were no signs of forced entry into Colley's residence, and nothing was out of order -- except for Colley's body and the missing fire extinguisher.

State police had looked at several employees, including two grounds workers who later pleaded guilty to stealing $30,000 worth of hay from the family's Windswept Farm.

Both 33-year-old men -- Angel H. Parra Penafiel and Hugo Ramirez-Morales -- lived on the farm where they were employed as laborers. They stole and then sold the hay over several years, police reported.

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