Accused serial killer lured victims by asking them to help dig up buried gold, Washington state prosecutors say

A Washington state man in jail awaiting trial on a murder charge has been charged with three more murders, and prosecutors say he lured all four victims by asking them to help dig for buried gold. The victims were carrying large amounts of money or had recently acquired a significant amount of money, according to court documents.

Richard Bradley Jr., 40, was charged in May 2021 with first-degree murder in the death of Brandi Blake, 44, whose body was found buried in a sprawling park in Auburn, Washington. In the past two weeks, prosecutors filed three more murder charges against Bradley, The Seattle Times reported, in the May 2021 deaths of a father and adult son and in the 2019 death of a man whose remains were found near Blake’s grave. .

Brandi Blake


Bradley’s defense attorney, Peter Geisnes, did not immediately return voice and email messages Saturday. Bradley is due to stand trial next month for Blake’s death. He has not yet had a chance to enter a plea to the other murder charges, according to online court records.

According to jail records, Bradley is being held at the King County Correctional Facility on multiple charges, including murder, arson, unlawful possession of a firearm, identity theft and trafficking in stolen property.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Thomas O’Ban II wrote in court documents that Bradley is accused of using the same scheme in each of the deaths — allegedly telling the victims he needed their help to dig up a stash of stolen goods goldtaking them to a wooded area and killing them before stealing their vehicles and any property inside.

Charging documents say Emilio Maturin was 36 years old when he was last seen alive in July 2019. His girlfriend reported him missing two weeks later.

According to court documents, she told detectives that she heard Bradley tell Maturin that he “needs help digging up some buried gold in Auburn.” Maturin was initially skeptical, she told detectives, but allegedly agreed anyway. According to court documents, Maturin had a habit of taking large sums of money with him every time he left the house, and he had about $15,000 in cash when he left that day in his recently purchased BMW.

The girlfriend tracked Maturin’s cell phone to Game Farm Park in Auburn and went looking for him, but got scared and left, according to charging documents.

A few hours later, Auburn police found an unregistered BMW parked near a large field in the park and waited for the driver to return. When they tried to stop the driver, the car flew away. Bradley was arrested after a car and foot chase and charged with eluding police, according to charging documents.

Michael Goman, 59, and son Vance Lakey, 31, were shot in March 2021 and their bodies were found on an unmaintained road not far from the park. Gowman received a large inheritance just before he and his son were killed, according to court documents.

Bradley was considered a person of interest in the death at the time. He was charged in May with second-degree arson after prosecutors said he offered a man $1,000 to set fire to the father and son’s impounded SUV. On Thursday, prosecutors added two counts of second-degree murder.

The death of Brandi Blake

Blake disappeared in early May 2021. She had won $20,000 at a casino and, like Maturin, was known to carry large sums of money, according to court documents.

Brandi Blake


Bradley allegedly met Blake at a hotel in Federal Way — about 25 miles south of Seattle — and told her he needed help selling gold he had hidden from a robbery, The Federal Way Mirror reports , citing court documents. Bradley’s wife told detectives that Bradley and Blake left the hotel room together and Bradley later returned alone, the outlet reported. Bradley allegedly claimed to have left Blake and that she had given him permission to take her car, the Mirror reported.

Later that month, investigators found her body in a shallow grave in the park, along with three human ribs about 30 feet away.

A GoFundMe was started after Blake’s death to help cover the cost of her memorial service.

“We are devastated by the sudden loss of Brandi Blake,” reads the fundraiser organized by Lisa Blake. “Her death was unexpected and a complete shock to all her friends and 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.”

That same month, Bradley was charged with the murder of Blake, who died of blunt force injuries. The ribs were later matched by DNA to Maturin and Bradley was charged with Maturin’s murder on December 5 of this year.

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