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Crime News Murders

Suspected Washington Serial Killer Allegedly Lured Victims By Asking Them to Help Dig Up Stolen Gold

Richard Bradley Jr., 40, who is accused of four separate murders in Washington State, lured victims into the woods with false promises of stolen gold before executing them, prosecutors say. 

By Dorian Geiger
Crime Scene tape.

A Washington State man, who is jailed and awaiting trial in the murder of a suspected drug dealer, has been charged with three more murders, officials said.

Richard Bradley Jr., 40, is now facing four separate murder charges inolving a series of slayings between 2019 and 2021. He was previously charged with murder in the 2021 slaying of 44-year-old Brandi Blake. But prosecutors say he’s also responsible for three separate killings of 36-year-old Emilio Maturin, 59-year-old Michael Goeman, and his son, 31-year-old Vance Lakey, according to The Seattle Times.

Bradley murdered his four victims in similar fashion, prosecutors allege; after falsely promising them he’d come across a cache of stolen gold, he’d ask for their help in digging it up, before luring them to a wooded area and killing them, CBS News reported. He later allegedly ransacked his victims’ vehicles and absconded with their possessions. All of Bradley’s victims had large amounts of cash in their possession or had recently come across a substantial amount of money, prosecutors said. 

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Blake, a suspected drug dealer, who vanished in May 2021, was known to carry significant amounts of cash. She’d also recently won $20,000 from a casino shortly before her death, court documents stated, according to weekly newspaper The Federal Way Mirror

Prosecutors say Bradley met Blake at a hotel about 25 miles south of Seattle, where he allegedly attempted to enlist her help to sell gold he’d stashed from a heist he’d committed. Bradley told police he dropped Blake off and that she had permitted him to use her car, per CBS News. Bradley’s body was later found in a shallow grave near a community park in Auburn. She died of blunt force injuries. 

When police searched Bradley’s RV in May, they seized three guns and three pounds of meth, one pound of heroin, and more than 1,000 Percocet pills. The illegal drugs were allegedly found in a backpack belonging to Blake, documents state. Police believe one of the recovered firearms was Blake’s as well. 

"We are devastated at the sudden loss of Brandi Blake," stated a GoFundMe fundraiser for Blake. "Her death was unexpected and a total shock for all her friends and her family. ...  We will all miss her beautiful smile and great sense of humor. Brandi was such a kind and caring soul and would give anyone the shirt off her back. She will forever be in our hearts."

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Roughly 30 feet away from Bradley’s body, three human ribs were also found, which were later matched to Maturin using DNA. 

Maturin was last seen in July 2019. His girlfriend would also later disclose to investigators she recalled him talking about going to help dig up "some buried gold in Auburn." He had $15,000 in cash on him when he vanished that day after leaving home in his new BMW, per court documents. At the time, Maturin’s girlfriend had tracked his mobile phone to Auburn's Game Farm Park. Authorities later found an unregistered BMW sitting by an empty park field. The driver, subsequently identified as Bradley, was apprehended by officers following a car and foot chase. He was charged in Maturin’s death on Dec. 5.

The bodies of Goeman and Lakey, who were also fatally shot in March 2021, were recovered in proximity to the Auburn park. Per CBS News, Goeman had received a sizable inheritance before his death, court documents stated. Bradley had been considered a person of interest in the double murder. He’s also accused of allegedly paying a man $1,000 to torch the father and son's impounded SUV. 

Bradley remains in custody at a King County detention facility, according to online jail records. He’s being held on several charges including murder, unlawful possession of a firearm, identity theft, arson and trafficking in stolen property. Bradley is expected to stand trial next month in Blake's death. It's unclear if he has yet pleaded to the other charges he's facing. 

Oxygen.com has reached out to Bradley’s defense attorney, Peter Geiness, for further comment. 

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