New York

Ex-Day Laborer Arrested in 2015 Bludgeoning Death of Wealthy New York Socialite

What to Know

  • Lois Colley, the wealthy socialite wife of millionaire McDonald's franchisee Eugene Colley, was found bludgeoned to death in Nov. 2015
  • There was no history of domestic issues on the North Salem property, and there was no sign of forced entry
  • Two years after the mysterious slaying, police have arrested a suspect, sources say

Police have arrested a former employee in the death of an 83-year-old wealthy socialite found bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher at her Westchester estate two years ago, authorities say. 

Esdras Marroquin Gomez, also known as Victor, was indicted on a charge of second-degree murder by a grand jury Monday in with the killing of Lois Colley, the wife of a millionaire McDonald's franchisee. Colley was found in the couple's hilltop estate in North Salem in November 2015.

Gomez had worked as a day laborer about five times on the farm, though he was not employed by the family at the time of Colley's killing. 

Investigators said Monday they believe he had gotten into some sort of dispute with someone in the Colley family and went to the estate on that November day looking to talk to someone. He ran into Colley and killed her, authorities said. 

A caretaker at the 300-acre estate found Colley's body in the main house's laundry room. A small fire extinguisher was missing from the home; investigators said Monday they believe that to have been the murder weapon. 

The wealthy socialite had last been heard from about two hours before she was found, and there was no sign of forced entry, according to police. No valuables were taken. 

Gomez had been identified as a possible suspect early in the investigation, though not publicly, officials said. He fled to his native Guatemala less than a week after the slaying and was there for a short time, then went to Cancún, Mexico. Mexican authorities tracked him down there and deported him back to his native country. But because there were no direct flights between Cancún and a Guatemalan airport, officials said FBI agents were able to detain Gomez once he landed in Miami on a connecting flight.

It wasn't clear if he entered a plea at his arraignment Monday. He was remanded without bail. Attorney information for the man wasn't immediately available.

Colley's husband, Eugene, is known for his empire of roughly 100 McDonald's restaurants.

"The family has expressed their gratitude to law enforcement for the work that has gone into this case," said Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino Jr.

The family lived in an area of extreme wealth where horse farms dot the landscape. There was no history domestic issues on the property, police said.

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