A Washington state man is facing charges for the murders of four victims after allegedly luring them into the woods under the promise of finding buried gold. Richard W. Bradley Jr., 40, is accused of committing the serial killings between 2019 and 2021 in Auburn, a city located south of downtown Seattle. Prosecutors have recently filed three additional murder charges against Bradley.
According to court documents, Bradley was first arrested in May 2021 and charged in connection to the death of Brandi Blake, whose body was found in Game Farm Park in Auburn. In all of the deaths, prosecutors allege that Bradley used the same scheme of enticing his victims into wooded areas by pretending to need their help in retrieving buried gold from previous robberies. Once they were isolated, Bradley allegedly killed them and buried their bodies in the parks.
Witnesses reported seeing Bradley driving the victims’ vehicles after their disappearances, and investigators uncovered evidence linking him to the crimes. The first murder is suspected to have taken place in July 2019 after the disappearance of Emilio Raul Maturin. His girlfriend revealed that she overheard him discussing a plan to unearth buried gold with Bradley on the day he went missing. Charging documents say Maturin was last seen alive in July 2019. He was reported missing two weeks later by his girlfriend.
In court documents, she told detectives that Bradley told Maturin “he needed help digging up some buried gold in Auburn.” She said that Maturin initially was skeptical but allegedly went along anyway. When Maturin left the house that day in his recently purchased BMW, he had roughly $15,000 in cash with him. He was in the habit of taking large amounts of money with him whenever he left the house, according to the court documents. Maturin’s remains were later found at Game Farm Park, along with the body of Brandi Blake.
Father and son Michael Goeman, 59, and Vance Lakey, 31, were also lured to a different wooded area in Auburn and found dead. Investigators discovered two small shovels near their bodies, and witnesses saw Bradley using their car and motorcycle. Bradley had previously been charged with second-degree arson for attempting to set fire to the father and son’s impounded SUV.
All the victims had significant sums of money on them or in their names when they were killed, according to prosecutors. If convicted, Bradley faces life in prison. Authorities continue investigating the case, and Bradley remains in jail without bail.