The father of a Randle, Washington, teen that was raped and murdered earlier this year described the heart-wrenching events that led to him learning about his son’s fate in an interview that aired earlier this week.
Sitting down with television host Dr. Phil for an interview broadcasted Wednesday, Benjamin Eastman, Jr., father of Benjamin Eastman III, recounted what happened on the day that changed his life forever.
“I just searched behind my house to the trail to Benny’s house,” Eastman said, referring to Benny Marquez, 16, one of the suspect’s in his son’s murder case. He then said that a friend of his had spoken to another acquaintance about doing some logging on Benny’s grandparents’ property—the same land it was later discovered Benjamin was killed on.
“At this point we know they’re not being truthful with us, they know something, and my son’s gone,” Eastman said of Marquez’s relatives.
Marquez, along with his brother Jonathan Adamson, 21, have been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape, tampering with physical evidence, and unlawful disposal of remains for allegedly killing Eastman and burning his body in a shallow grave on the grandparents’ property, Oxygen.com reported previously.
"The two had planned on assaulting Eastman and lured him to a wooded area under the guise of a camping trip," charging documents stated.
Their mother, 43-year-old Kindra Rose Adamson, meanwhile, was charged with rendering criminal assistance in the younger Eastman’s murder after she allegedly tried to cover the crime, according to KOMO news, the local ABC affiliate in Spokane, Washington.
One day later, Adamson’s 20-year-old fiancée Emma Brown was arrested on the same charge as his mother, according to Fox 12 Oregon.
Although he was trying to remain optimistic over finding his missing son, Eastman said he was also mentally preparing for the worst.
“I’m being real. I’m holding onto hope, but I’m being real,” he told Dr. Phil.
Eastman went missing on June 24 after leaving to visit Marquez, an old friend of his, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Marquez, who at first posted concerned messages on Facebook regarding his missing friend’s whereabouts, initially told police Eastman never arrived to the property.
Eastman then told Dr. Phil that his friend, who is a contractor in the area, combed the property in search for any clues as to Eastman’s son’s whereabouts. Unfortunately, he stumbled upon the worst-case scenario.
“They found my son’s remains, basically,” Eastman said. The grave, complete with a stick made out crosses, was discovered on June 28, according to Lewis County Sheriff's Office.
The hope Eastman was feeling quickly faded into feeling devoid of emotion whatsoever.
“It was a numb feeling I got, you know, I had very little emotion for a while. I felt like I should be more of a wreck but I was just numb,” he told the program. “It took a while to sink in. It was like, he could come walking through the door, but it’s not him, you know? It’s just not real yet.”
But charging documents described an all-too-real encounter for his son. The pair of brothers beat Eastman to the ground for as long as 45 minutes, according to charging papers. Already terribly injured, they then sodomized him with a stick before finally killing him a large stone, according to police.
“I couldn’t even view him, it was so bad,” Eastman said to Dr. Phil. “They [the coroner] felt they had enough evidence to make an identification. But when I wanted to go say goodbye, they didn’t feel that was a very good idea.”
Speaking to PEOPLE magazine in July, Eastman speculated about the motive behind his son’s brutal murder, saying that he believed it was possibly over a girl.
But no matter what the reason, the father of the fun-loving, Miami Dolphins fan told Dr. Phil that the reality and permanence of the tragic incident has taken hold.
“You start looking at pictures and it starts sinking in that, you know, his little smart mouth, he ain’t going to get to joke back and forth,” he said, holding back tears. "[With] football season—now it’s really hitting hard. Now I’m realizing that was him. There’s no denying it no more.”
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