Man accused in 4 deaths lured Washington victims to woods with promise of buried gold, police say

A Washington man charged with killing one person has been accused of killing three others by luring his alleged victims to the woods by telling them he needed help digging up gold, authorities said.

Richard Walter Bradley, 40, pleaded not guilty to three charges of murder Thursday, said the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Bradley is being held without bail and faces up to life in prison, if convicted.

Bradley’s defense attorney, Peter Geisness, did not immediately return voice and email messages. Bradley is scheduled to stand trial next month in Blake’s death.

He was initially arrested in May 2021 and charged in a separate murder case. He’s accused in the death of Brandi Blake, 44, in Game Farm Park in Auburn, Washington.

Game Farm Park is one of the largest and most frequently used community parks in Auburn, according to the city’s website. Auburn is around 30 miles south of Seattle.

In all four cases, Bradley told the victims that he needed their help digging up gold, then killed them, leaving their bodies deep in the park, police say. He was then found driving vehicles belonging to the victims in the days following their disappearance, according to court documents.

Police say that three years before Blake was killed, Bradley killed Emilio Raul Maturin, 36, in the park, according to court documents.

Charging documents say Maturin was last seen alive in July 2019. His girlfriend reported him missing two weeks later.

According to court documents, she told detectives that she overheard Bradley telling Maturin that “he needed help digging up some buried gold in Auburn.” Maturin initially was skeptical, she told detectives, but allegedly went along anyway. Maturin was in the habit of taking large amounts of money with him whenever he left the house, according to the court documents, and he had roughly $15,000 in cash when he left that day in his recently purchased BMW.

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

Several hours later, Auburn police found an unregistered BMW parked near a large field at the park and waited for the driver to return. When they attempted to stop the driver, the car took off. Bradley was arrested after a car and foot chase and charged with eluding police, according to charging documents.

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

Richard Walter Bradley in court.
Richard Walter Bradley in court.KING5

Bradley was considered a person of interest in the deaths at the time. He was charged that 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.

Blake went missing in early May 2021. She had won $20,000 at a casino and, like Maturin, was known to carry large amounts of cash, according to court documents. Investigators found her body in a shallow grave at the park later that month — as well as three human ribs about 30 feet away.

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

Bradley has previously been convicted of robbery, vehicular assault, and possession of an unregistered firearm, according to court documents.