By Rik Stevens
The Associated Press
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Almost two years after a retired British police officer and his live-in girlfriend were shot to death in the Philippines, New York State Police said April 26 that they arrested one of the men accused of doing it.
Troopers worked with the FBI and Interpol for several months to track down 35-year-old Timothy Noah Kaufman, state police Capt. Timothy Munro said. They arrested him without incident on April 24 in Clifton Park, a bedroom community north of Albany.
Kaufman had been in New York more than six months, Munro said. Public records show he also lived in Knoxville, Tenn., and in Colorado.
In a posting on its website, the Philippines National Bureau of Investigation says Kaufman and two other men shot 54-year-old David Balmer and his 26-year-old girlfriend, Elma de Guia, in September 2011, as they slept in the home of Balmer’s business partner, Richard Agnew, in Angeles City.
Agnew discovered their bodies the next day.
Philippines media report the area is in the heart of the country’s sex tourism business and that Agnew owns several clubs. He told the Sunday World, an Irish newspaper, he thought the gunmen were targeting him and killed Balmer and de Guia by mistake.
“Those bullets were meant for me. That night, I had luck on my side, but David did not,” Agnew told the newspaper.
The NBI bulletin says the two were shot multiple times.
Reached by phone early April 28, the duty agent at the NBI said nobody was available to talk about the case until Monday morning.
Kaufman; Joseph Stephan Tramontano, an American; and Jesus F. Santos Jr., a Filipino, are each charged with two counts of murder. It could not immediately be learned if either of the other men was in custody.
The NBI bulletin included pictures of several IDs reportedly belonging to Kaufman, one of which indicated he was an ex-U.S. Marine.
Maj. Shawn Haney, public affairs officer for the Marine’s Manpower & Reserve Affairs in Quantico, Va., confirmed Kaufman served in the Marines from Dec. 11, 2000 to Nov. 28, 2005, and was an intelligence specialist, leaving the corps as a corporal. He served in Iraq from Sept. 1, 2004 to March 5, 2005, and earned the Marine Corps Achievement Medal and Good Conduct Medal, among other citations.
Kaufman was turned over to U.S. Marshals and faces a May 9 extradition hearing. (end)