Ithaca police arrested a man Thursday in connection with the murder of Francisco “Rico” Santiago. Gary Lowe was apprehended after several months of ongoing investigation into Santiago’s death Dec. 1, 2011 at Chestnut Hill Apartments.
Police received a tip in March 2012 that helped them identify what they said was the motive behind the crime. A “drug related robbery ... resulted in the murder of Santiago,” according to an IPD press release.
On Dec. 1, 2011, at approximately 12:08 a.m., IPD responded to a shooting at the K building of Chestnut Hill Apartments, located approximately 10 minutes from campus. Police discovered the victim, Santiago, in apartment K-22 with a single gun shot wound to the torso, according to the press release. Santiago was subsequently pronounced dead at Cayuga Medical Center.
During the initial investigation, it was purported that Santiago was selling narcotics in Ithaca, according to the police report. At the time of his murder, he had been living in Ithaca for several months, making routine trips back to New York City to obtain drugs, according to the IPD.
Judge John Rowley authorized arrest warrants for Lowe and Lawrence Beauford Thursday, both for second-degree murder. Lowe was arraigned and sent to the Tompkins County Jail without bail Thursday afternoon. Beauford was already in detention by the New York State Department of Corrections in connection with another crime, police said.
Chief of Ithaca Police Edward Vallely praised cooperation between the Tompkins County District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Police, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department, the Village of Groton Police Department, the City of Cortland Police Department and the Cortland County Sheriff’s Department.
“I’m proud of the collaborative efforts of local law enforcement working together to investigate and solve this homicide,” Vallely said in a statement. “Solving crimes of violence is a priority for the Ithaca Police Department. Perpetrators of violent crime in the City of Ithaca will be aggressively pursued and brought before the courts.”