NewsSeattle man lured victims with tales of buried gold, faces multiple murder charges

Seattle man lured victims with tales of buried gold, faces multiple murder charges

The murderer Richard Bradley Jr. and one of his victims, Brandi Blake.
The murderer Richard Bradley Jr. and one of his victims, Brandi Blake.
Images source: © Washington State Department of Corrections
1:57 PM EST, December 19, 2023

Investigators have found a pattern in Bradley's nefarious deeds. Regardless of the location, he would regale his victims with the same captivating story of stolen gold. Applying an insistent persuasion, he convinced them to help him unearth this purported treasure.

Bradley was successful in convincing four people to join his ventures. These individuals drove him to supposed locations of hidden treasure and lent him a hand in the digging.

Among his victims was 44-year-old Brandi Blake, whose life was brutally taken. Her body was discreetly buried in a shallow grave within a vast park in the city of Auburn, Washington state. Before meeting Bradley, Blake had a stroke of luck and won $20,000 at a casino.

As reported by AP, Blake's body was the first to be discovered. Detectives furthered the investigation and unearthed human ribs near her gravesite, thereby unraveling a grisly tale.

Four people murdered under the guise of a gold-digging venture

In a similar vein, Bradley deceived Michael Goeman, 59, and his 31-year-old son Vance Lakey, under the pretense of collective treasure hunting. Like his previous victim, these two individuals were also buried in shallow graves within the same park.

Emilio Maturin, a 36-year-old man, was another one of Bradley's victims. His body has yet to be located, but the discovery of human ribs near Brandi Blake's grave led investigators to him. DNA tests confirmed these remains belonged to Maturin.

Maturin went missing in May 2021, a disappearance which marked the end of Bradley's gruesome killing spree. His girlfriend launched a search for him after he ceased making contact. She later testified about Maturin mentioning an alleged hidden treasure and a man who needed assistance in uncovering it.

Investigators eventually located Emilio Maturin's BMW in a parking lot and decided to keep watch for the driver. They found Bradley was driving the vehicle.

The verdict related to Brandi Blake's death will be announced next month. Still, numerous court proceedings lie ahead for Bradley. His sentence will cumulatively increase as he faces trials for his subsequent crimes.

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