Patrick Smith of Florida faces a sentence of 25 years-to-life in prison after being charged with second-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery, among other charges related to the 2011 murder of Epifanio Medina, 65, whose decomposing body was discovered in North Salem woods last summer.
The Westchester County District Attorney's office announced the seven-count indictment on Monday. Smith, 27, of Lehigh Acres, FL, was arrested in April and also faces charges of unlawful imprisonment and grand larceny, felonies, and criminal possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor.
Police said two horseback riders discovered Medina's body on June 12, 2011. Medina was a FL resident living in Passaic, NJ, at the time. He was known to carry large amounts of cash and wore flashy jewelry, according to the DA's Office. Officials said he was last seen exiting a Passaic liquor store on June 2, 2011 at 4 p.m.
Investigators said family members reported Medina missing on June 5, 2011.
Hi son, Pete Medina, 36, of Union, NJ, said at the time, “There’s definitely foul play,” according to North Jersey.com. His father was known in the neighborhood as “Tio,” or uncle. He had six children and worked at a liquor store until he was laid off a few years ago, the son said.
Three accomplices and charged in the murder: Jessica Ryan French, 24, also of Lehigh Acres, FL, Charles Blanchard, 21, of Hill, NH, and Travis Morin, 24 of Danbury, CT.
The New York State Police conducted "an extensive, wide ranging investigation," according to authorities, and expanded their investigation both down to Florida and up to New Hampshire.
Smith is in the county jail awaiting his next court appearance on July 25.
Assistant District Attorney Nadine Nagler of the Career Criminal Bureau is prosecuting the case.