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Ex-Employee Says Longstanding Dispute Led To Murder Of Northern Westchester Socialite

Esdras Marroquin Gomez aka “Victor” Photo Credit: Westchester County District Attorney's Office
North Salem socialite Lois Colley. Photo Credit: Courtesy The Colley Family
Esdras Marroquin Gomez Photo Credit: New York State Police
A large procession leaves St. James Episcopal Church in North Salem following the funeral of Lois Colley. The procession is from the church to a nearby cemetery. Photo Credit: File
Angel Parra Penafiel (second from left) is escorted into North Salem's local court in January 2016. He is accused, along with a co-defendant, of stealing $30,000 worth of hay from Lois Colley's estate. Photo Credit: File
State police patrol Windswept Farm, the 300-acre property in North Salem where Lois Colley was murdered the day after the homicide last year. Photo Credit: Daily Voice
Esdras Marroquin Gomez AKA “Victor” Photo Credit: Westchester County District Attorney's Office
Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino Jr. Photo Credit: Westchester County District Attorney's Office

A former employee has pleaded guilty and faces life in prison for brutally murdering 83-year-old Northern Westchester socialite Lois Elizabeth Colley, who was bludgeoned to death in 2015 over a longstanding dispute.

Esdras Marroquin Gomez, an ex-day laborer also known as “Victor,” admitted to second-degree murder in Westchester County Court on Monday, May 6, and will face 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on June 13.

On Nov. 9, 2015, at approximately 5 p.m., a farmworker found Colley’s body lying in a pool of blood in her home’a laundry room after she had been bludgeoned to death at the family's North Salem farm. Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino Jr. said that Colley, “the elderly matriarch of a prominent family” who had been alone at the time of her death, suffered severe trauma to the head and face.

During the initial investigation, police found the pin of a discharged fire extinguisher near Colley’s body and later found the extinguisher wrapped in a plastic bag in a pond on her 300-acre estate. Further tests by forensic scientists determined that Colley’s DNA was on the murder weapon.

Scarpino said that New York State Police investigators and his office conducted hundreds of interviews and reviewed video surveillance which led them to Gomez in 2016, though he had fled to Guatemala the year before. An “intensive” international manhunt was launched, which led to the arrest of Gomez in Mexico before he was returned to Westchester.

Prosecutors said that the motive for the killing stemmed from a dispute with the Colley family that began in 2012 while Gomez was a day laborer at the farm

While on the run, Gomez was indicted by a grand jury in Westchester on the murder charge. He was arraigned in Westchester County Court in November 2017 and has been detained since as he awaited trial before pleading guilty on Monday.

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