Man Accused of Luring Victims with Tales of Buried Gold

By: Ben Campbell | Published: Dec 27, 2023

A man from Washington state has been charged in the murder of four victims, whom authorities say he led into the woods under the promise of finding treasure.

The 40-year-old man is said to have killed a woman after drawing her into a forested region of Seattle. He promised his unsuspecting victim that buried gold awaited them in the depths of the woods before murdering her.

Serial Killer Runs Rampaent in Seattle

Investigators working on the case suspect that 40-year-old Richard W. Bradley Jr. committed the killings between 2019 and 2021.

Accused serial killer Richard Bradley Jr mugshot phototgraph

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According to their reports, they all took place in the area of Auburn, a King County city approximately 30 miles south of Seattle.

Seattle Killer Arrested

Bradley was finally arrested in May 2021 before being charged with the murder of Brandi Blake. The 44-year-old woman’s body was found in Game Farm Park in Auburn, according to court documents.

Photograph of one of Bradley's victims, Brandi Blake, before she was murdered

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It was later brought to light that Bradley may have killed at least three other people over a two-year period from 2019 to 2021.

Luring Victims into the Woods

Prosecutors allege Bradley used the same plan in all of his killings. He would lure his victims into wooded areas, claiming he needed help to exhume his gold.

Man walks along a trail through the center of a forested region

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Once alone and deep enough into the forest, Bradley would then kill his unsuspecting victims and bury their bodies in the park.

Witnesses Knew About the Scheme

Documents signed by a King County Sheriff’s detective have revealed that investigators interviewed numerous witnesses who had heard about Bradley’s terrifying scheme.

A man wearing a blue hat details what he saw to an investigator following a crime

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Others came forward and claimed they even saw Bradley driving the victim’s vehicles after their disappearance.

The Accused Pleads Not Guilty

Bradley claims he is innocent and has pleaded not guilty to the crimes of killing four people on three separate occasions.

Middle-aged man wearing an orange jumpsuit daydreams behind bars

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The accused serial killer is currently being held in jail without bail as he awaits the resolution of his case, according to court records.


First Murder Takes Place in 2019

According to investigators, the first murder likely happened in July 2019, after Emilio Raul Maturin was reported missing.

A man dressed in a long yellow coat stops to admire the surrounding trees in the forest

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His girlfriend told police that she’d heard Maturin and Bradley discussing a “sketchy” plan to get the gold at the time (via USA Today).


Maturin Drove Bradley In Brand-New BMW

She alleges that the conversation happened on July 18. According to the girlfriend’s report, Maturin eventually agreed to go, taking Bradley to the location in his brand-new BMW.

Brand new BMW sits on display in a dealership in Manhattan, New York City

Source: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Maturin’s girlfriend followed his phone location to Game Farm Park. Yet, after a short search, she “got scared and left,” per court documents.


Two Years Before Any Sign of Maturin Was Discovered

Two years after Maturin disappeared, police were searching the park for Blake when they came across three rib bones close by the location of Blake’s body.

Freshly dug hole surrounded by grass photographed within a forest

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Medical examiners conducted tests and determined the bones were human. Later, DNA testing concluded that the ribs had a high probability of belonging to Maturin. Bradley was charged with his murder on Dec. 5 (via The Associated Press).


Other Victims of the Plan

Other victims include a father and son, Michael Goeman, 59, and Vance Lakey, 31, who were lured into the woods.

Two men pictured walking in the woods together close by a small city

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Two small shovels were found next to these victims. Bradley was spotted driving the victims’ car and motorcycle, according to witness statements.


Bradley Pays Man to Set Fire to SUV

The father and son were found shot on a road near the park in March 2021, per The Associated Press. Bradley then became a person of interest.

An SUV seen bursting into flames in the parking lot of a busy McDonalds restaurant

Source: Vern Bowers/Facebook

He was charged that May with second-degree arson after offering a man $1,000 to set fire to the father and son’s impounded SUV.


Motive Behind the Killings

According to The Associated Press, all of the victims had large sums of money either on them or in their names before they were killed. Blake, for instance, had just won a large jackpot at a casino before her death.

Woman sits on a coach in front of a large sum of dollar bills

Source: Freepik

Investigators believe this could have motivated Bradley to lure his victims into the woods before killing them. If convicted of the charges, the accused faces life in prison.