NYC man, 74, charged in murder of WWI vet missing 45 years


Left: Authorities dig up remains in a Queens backyard in March 2019, later identified as missing WWI veteran George Seitz; Right: Old photo of veteran George Seitz, who was 81 when he went missing in December 1976, officials say. (Credit: Office of Queens District Attorney)

NEW YORK (PIX11) — A 74-year-old man was arrested and arraigned on Wednesday in connection with the death of a World War I veteran who disappeared in 1976 in Queens, and whose remains were found in 2019. Police took Martin Motta into custody on murder charges Wednesday morning at his home in Queens.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said Motta faces 25 years to life in prison if he is convicted of the death of George Seitz. “The alleged killer of a WWI Veteran is being held accountable and brought to justice,” said Katz in a statement. “We hope the identification of the remains and the indictment in this case will begin to bring peace and closure to his loved ones.”

Officials said the veteran’s remains were found in March 2019, buried under concrete in the backyard of a Richmond Hill home. The body had been dismembered at the neck, shoulders, and hips, authorities said.

However, it wasn’t until earlier this year that the remains were positively identified as Seitz. The veteran was 81 when he was last seen leaving his Jamaica home in December 1976, reportedly on his way to get a haircut, according to officials.

Motta’s attorney, Russell Rothberg, declined to comment on Wednesday.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Download our news app

App Store Link
Google Play Link

Latest PODCAST episode

More PODCAST: On the Story with Trishna Begam

Latest COVID-19 News

More COVID-19