Richard Bradley, Jr., is accused of luring his victims into the woods after asking them for help digging up treasure(Image: Maleng Regional Justice Center)

Suspected serial killer lured victims into woods to hunt for buried treasure

A suspected serial killer allegedly led his victims into the woods after asking them for help digging up buried treasure, then slaughtered and buried them in a park near Seattle

by · The Mirror

A suspected serial killer is believed to have lured his victims to their deaths by asking them to help him dig for hidden treasure, it has been claimed.

The peculiar modus operandi (MO) of Richard Bradly, Jr., 40, of Kent, Washington, has garnered national attention after he was charged with three additional murders. He now stands accused of four murders around the Auburn area, which is just south of Seattle.

Bradly was charged in 2021 with the murder of 44-year-old Brandi Blake, who he allegedly told he needed help digging up gold. He has been imprisoned for two and half years since, The Seattle Times reports. Blake died of blunt force trauma, it was later revealed. Near her body were the ribs of 36-year-old Emilio Maturin, who went missing in July 2019. In the same general vicinity were the bodies of father-son duo Michael Goeman, 59, and Vance Lakey, 31, who he allegedly shot and killed in March 2021.

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Brandi Blake was allegedly lured after winning big at a casino in the area( Image: Gofundme)

Maturin was the first victim, though his cause of death remains unclear. His girlfriend reported him missing on August 2, 2019, about two weeks after he disappeared, The Seattle Times reported. She told investigators she had overheard Maturin and Bradley talking about the stolen gold he intended to dig up when Bradley visited their townhouse in Kent, then watched as they left to go find it.

She told the authorities that Maturin had been skeptical of the discovery but agreed to go nonetheless. He never came back.

Emilio Maturin's ribs were found about 30 feet from Blake's body, which was in the vicinity of Goeman and Lakey's bodies( Image: Gofundme)

She had tracked her boyfriend's phone to the park, but got scared and left after a short search. About two years later, his ribs were discovered around the same time that Blake's body was found — she was the last of the four victims, killed sometime in May 2021.

Maturin had taken a pound of heroin, some meth and $15,000 in cash with him, charging documents obtained by the newspaper stated. Bradley had allegedly murdered him, then stolen his white BMW, which he was later seen driving around in.

Bradley was first arrested in July 2019 after a short car chase, charged with eluding the police after they attempted to pull him over for failing to have a registration. It remains unclear exactly what happened between then and the nasty charges he incurred over the past two years, including first-degree murder for the death of Maturin, which was tacked onto his charges at the beginning of December this year.

Emilio Maturin was initially skeptical of the quest, but agreed to go along nonetheless, his girlfriend revealed

The BMW had reportedly been parked near the field where the bodies were later found, detectives wrote in other charging documents the newspaper obtained.

DNA from Maturin's mother was used to identify the ribs, and the State Patrol Crime Lab determined in 2022 that the DNA was nearly a 100% match, meaning that the ribs belonged to someone who, with almost statistical certainty, was her biological child.

In March 2021, Bradley allegedly fatally shot Goeman and Lakey, whom he also lured to the field to help him dig up gold. He then reportedly stole their Dodge Durango, later hiring a man to burn it down for $1,000 after it was impounded. That resulted in him later being charged with second-degree arson. For those deaths, he was charged with second-degree murder.

The bodies were all discovered buried near each other at Game Farm Park in Auburn, Washington, just outside Seattle( Image: Steven Pavlov)

Their bodies were discovered in the same area as the others in April 2021. Then, in May of that year, he lured Blake to her death before burying her in a shallow grave, it was reported. Maturin's ribs were discovered about 30 feet from her body.

Connections between all the victims were eventually discovered, which could account for Bradley's motive.

Maturin had reportedly always carried cash and drugs with him whenever he left his house. Goeman had just received a large inheritance, and Blake had just won $20,000 at a local casino and had been known to carry drugs and cash with her in large amounts. Bradley was likely after their drugs and money, prosecutors speculated.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Thomas O'Ban II wrote in the charging documents for Maturin's murder that Bradley had used the same MO for all four victims despite them being killed in different manners. They had all been lured to the area to help him dig up stolen gold, then taken to the woods, killed and then buried hastily before Bradley took off with their vehicles and whatever possessions they had.

The suspected serial killer now faces two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and at least one count of second-degree arson. He's being held without bail in King County Jail.