Clifton Park man arrested in double homicide in Philippines
Updated 9:30 p.m.
CLIFTON PARK A 35-year-old man wanted in the shooting deaths of a man and woman in the Philippines has been arrested in Clifton Park.
Timothy Noah Kaufman, who state police said was unemployed and living with relatives at 8 Greenlea Drive, an upscale neighborhood off Vischer Ferry Road, was taken into custody as a fugitive from justice by state police and FBI agents Wednesday afternoon, police said Friday.
Kaufman is a former member of the U.S. Marine Corps (2000-05) who served in Iraq in 2004-05 and had been living in the Philippines. He is described in news accounts in the Philippines as a native of Knoxville, Tenn., who had been working in nightclubs in the Angeles City region. He had been in the Capital Region about six months, police said Friday.
Kaufman is accused by Philippine authorities in the shooting of David J. Balmer, 54, a retired police officer from Ireland, and his live-in girlfriend, Elma De Guia, 26, while they slept on Sept. 1, 2011, in Angeles City.
The National Bureau of Investigation in the Philippines said the bodies were discovered by Balmer’s housemate and longtime friend, Richard D. Agnew, who owns nightclubs in the area.
“Police autopsy report concluded that both [Balmer and De Guia] died due to multiple gunshot wounds, particularly in the head and thorax region,” says an NBI report on the case. Philippine investigators said they were able to retrieve two handguns with suppressors used in the crime.
Philippine police charged Kaufman and Joseph Stephan Tramontano, both American citizens, and Jesus F. Santos Jr. of the Philippines with two counts each of murder. Authorities said Santos was the driver in the case and told police about his participation in the slayings.
A September 2011 story in the Central Luzon Daily indicates Agnew and Balmer were longtime friends who knew each other when they lived in Ireland and were business partners who shared a house in Angeles City.
Agnew became suspicious when Balmer and his longtime girlfriend didn’t emerge from their room in the home later in the day Sept. 1, 2011. The news accounts said Agnew found the couple dead in bed.
Kaufman, who left the Philippines soon after the incident, and the other suspects in the case were the subject of a massive manhunt in September 2011, but were not apprehended.
After he was arrested in Clifton Park, Kaufman was immediately turned over to the FBI and is being held by the U.S. Marshals Service. He is awaiting an extradition hearing May 9 in federal court in Albany.
A state police investigation included the confirmation of Kaufman’s identity and the existence of an actionable warrant against him. The investigation was done with the assistance of the New York State Intelligence Center, Interpol and the FBI.
Officials at the FBI office in Albany declined to discuss the case.