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Luring Victims with Gold Quest: Washington Man Faces New Murder Charges in Disturbing Case

On December 5, a Washington man already facing murder charges was additionally accused of three more counts of murder, with prosecutors alleging that he lured his victims by seeking their assistance in finding gold.

Richard Bradley Jr., 40, had previously been charged in 2021 with the murder of Brandi Blake, as per charging documents reviewed by PEOPLE. Blake’s buried body was discovered in May 2021 in a park in Auburn, Washington. Alongside Blake’s remains, three rib bones were found within 30 feet, later identified as belonging to Emilio Maturin, reported missing in 2019.

The Associated Press reports, that Bradley faces murder charges in the shooting deaths of Michael Goeman and Vance Lakey, who were found deceased in another Auburn park, according to authorities.

Prosecutors allege that Bradley would deceive victims by claiming he needed help uncovering gold, leading them to wooded areas where he purportedly killed and either buried or abandoned their bodies. After the victims were reported missing, Bradley would allegedly drive around in their vehicles, according to the Federal Way Mirror. 

Regarding Maturin’s death, prosecutors state in charging documents that his girlfriend reported him missing in July 2019 and tracked his cell phone to the park where his ribs were later found. She informed the police that she got scared and left. She had overheard Bradley telling Maturin that he needed help digging up gold when she last saw them together.

An Auburn police report revealed that Bradley had been arrested in 2019 for eluding law enforcement. This occurred after he allegedly led police on a chase, claiming the unregistered BMW, believed to contain a substantial amount of heroin, belonged to a friend.

At an arraignment on December 14, Bradley pleaded not guilty. He is held without bail, and his trial in Blake’s death is scheduled for January.

Paul joined the Manchester Evening News in 2004 and Tosbos in 2022. A senior reporter, he's experienced in crime and court reporting - and also holds the defense portfolio.


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