In an update on Friday, Ithaca Police said the ongoing investigation into the murder of Joezaya Berrios, whose body was found at a construction site just before 7 am on Tuesday.
Investigators found a body, which began a death investigation.
On Tuesday around 10 pm investigators charged Michael Davis, 45, of Ithaca with second-degree murder and first-degree arson.
Investigators say there was a personal relationship between Davis and the victim, who has been identified as Joezaya Berrios.
Police are now asking residents in the area of Ellis Hollow Rd., Turkey Hill Rd. or Ellis Hollow Creek Rd. during the early-morning hours of Tuesday, June 13th to contact IPD with information.
In particular, those with security cameras are urged to check footage for a possible hitchhiker, which may be connected to the case in some way.
Davis was arraigned in Ithaca City Court and remanded to the Tompkins County Jail without bail.
Acting Chief Pete Tyler said of the investigation, “I am thankful for the collaborative efforts of all the police agencies involved in this investigation, including but of course not limited to the New York State Police, Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, Cornell University Police Department and the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control.”
He added, “Great teamwork solved this case by analyzing the evidence, developing a suspect, and making the arrest in less than 24 hours. I hope their great teamwork helps the friends and family of the victim grasp some sense of closure during this difficult time.”
Davis is due in court again on June 19th.
On Tuesday around 6:58 am members of the Ithaca Police Department responded to the report of a dead body, which had been discovered inside an apartment around the 200 block of Dryden Rd.
Members of the Ithaca Fire Department were also dispatched to the scene, as there were indicators that a fire occurred inside the building.
Officers arrived on scene and discovered a deceased male inside the apartment complex, according to an IPD press release.
The Ithaca Police Department has since commenced a death investigation to determine the cause of death, as that is still unknown. The death does not appear to be suspicious, according to IPD officials.
However, State Police, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office and Cornell University Police are assisting in the investigation.