Washington Man Charged with Serial Murders for Luring Victims with Promise of Buried Gold

Auburn, Washington – A man from Washington state is facing murder charges after authorities allege that he lured victims to remote areas with the promise of finding buried gold. Richard W. Bradley Jr., 40, is accused of committing the alleged serial killings between 2019 and 2021 in the area of Auburn, a King County city located about 30 miles south of downtown Seattle. Investigators first arrested Bradley in May 2021 and charged him in connection to the death of Brandi Blake, 44. Her body was found in Game Farm Park in Auburn, according to court documents.

Prosecutors have now filed three additional murder charges against Bradley in the last two weeks. They allege that Bradley used the same scheme for all the deaths – luring victims to wooded areas under the pretense of helping him exhume gold he had buried from previous robberies. Once alone, Bradley is accused of killing the victims and burying their bodies deep in the parks.

Witnesses interviewed by investigators reported seeing Bradley driving the victims’ vehicles after their disappearances, and some admitted to hearing about the scheme. In all instances, the victims had large sums of money either on them or in their names when they were killed.

The first murder suspected to be connected to Bradley occurred in July 2019 with the disappearance of Emilio Raul Maturin, 36. His girlfriend reported him missing, and she told the police about his plans to unearth buried gold in Auburn with Bradley. Maturin’s remains were found two years later at Game Farm Park near Blake’s grave, along with three rib bones that were later determined to belong to Maturin through DNA testing.

Two more victims, father and son Michael Goeman, 59, and Vance Lakey, 31, were lured in March 2021 to a different wooded area in Auburn. Two small shovels were found next to their decaying bodies, and witnesses told investigators that Bradley was seen driving their car and motorcycle when they first vanished. Bradley faces life in prison if convicted on the charges.

Bradley has pleaded not guilty and is being held in jail without bail as he awaits the resolution of his case, court records show. He was charged 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.