Stephentown, NY — On June 30, 1983, 15-year-old Robert “Bobby” Gutkaiss left his home for his first day of work as a berry picker at Pease Farm in Stephentown, New York. That night, Bobby’s mom reported that her son never came home from the farm.
New York State Police are continuing to investigate the case as a cold case homicide.
The farm owner said Bobby showed up and worked until 6 P.M. and then left, walking north on Route 22 toward Stephentown. He said that he had instructed Bobby to return to the farm later that evening to receive his pay, but Bobby never came back.
Bobby’s body was found on July 7, 1983, on a logging road. His death was ruled a homicide.
The case is still open, but mysteries and controversy surround Bobby’s three brothers, who were suspected of playing a role in Bobby’s death. The family has a history of sexual abuse and violence: In October 1993, his father Stanley Gutkaiss, 53, was charged with two counts of first-degree sodomy and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. He was also charged with a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child, but pleaded not guilty and was released.
In a separate case, Gutkaiss’s three sons were charged with sex crimes involving young boys in August 1992. Timothy, 25, 23-year-old Michael, and 30-year-old Stanley, Jr., were charged with sexually abusing three young boys over a four-year period. Michael was found guilty of two counts of first-degree sodomy and three counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Timothy was found guilty of one count of sodomy, and Stanley Jr. was acquitted.
Many commenters on Facebook have written that they believe that Stanley, who passed away in 2006, played a role in the murder of his son. Jo-Michelle Scott, who claims to be a family relative, wrote: “One of these children was molested on top of Bobby grave by Stanley and told his mother of what happened and that Stanley threatened him that if he told he would also end up like Bobby. The family believes Bobbie father did it. He raped and molested many children and got away w it.”
The State Police Troop G Major Crimes Unit and the BCI Unit at SP Schodack ask that anyone with information regarding this case call the New York State Police at (518) 783-3211.
Main photo: Bobby Gutkaiss [News 10 (screenshot)]