Investigators: Fourth defendant ‘knew’ robbery was going to take place

Three people have been charged with second-degree murder after a Newfield man was found dead at 221 Burdge Hill Road on Friday around 5 am.

In an update Monday night, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office reported the arrest of an Ithaca woman, in addition to the arrests that had already taken place over the weekend. Melissa J. Minnick, 39, of Ithaca was charged with fourth-degree conspiracy, which is a felony.  She was arrested, charged, and was remanded to the Tompkins County Jail in lieu of $15,000 cash bail or $30,000 secured bond.

The Ithaca Voice reported on Tuesday that Minnick was charged with fourth-degree conspiracy after she allegedly “bought ski masks, canned dog food and Unisom SleepMelts tablets to assist the three suspects.” They go on to point out that court documents revealed that she knew that the robbery was going to take place beforehand.

Authorities say the initial call came in a little after 5 am for a reported cardiac arrest. When deputies arrived they found Camden Rundell dead in his front lawn. At this point, it appears that it was a murder, which came during a robbery, or at least an attempted robbery. Rundell was 30-years-old, according to police.

The death was immediately ruled suspicious, and then a homicide by the next day when the autopsy results were released to authorities. The felony complaint alleges that Colleen E. McColgin, 37, of Dryden; Ithaca resident Jamie N. Gerhart, 38; and Roy L. Clements Jr., 39, of Ithaca, robbed Rundell. It points out that Rundell was likely murdered during the robbery or during their escape.

Clements Jr. was the final suspect to be arrested on Sunday. Both Gerhart and McColgin were arrested on Saturday. All three were charged with second-degree murder. The investigation involves the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, Ithaca Police, the Tompkins County Medical Examiner, and Newfield Fire Department. Bangs Ambulance also assisted during the incident.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office Anonymous Tip Line at 607-266-5420, or the Tompkins County Communication Center at 607-272-2444.

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