Two Washington state brothers have been charged as suspects in the rape and murder of a 16-year-old boy.
Jonathon Adamson, 21, and Benito Marquez, 16, were charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape, tampering with physical evidence and unlawful disposal of remains in the death of teenager Benjamin Eastman.
According to court documents which detailed the brothers’ phone records, on 24 June the pair allegedly lured Benjamin to the woods in Randle, Washington – approximately 100 miles southeast of Seattle – under the guise of a camping trip.
Mr Adamson allegedly told police that he and Mr Marquez kicked the boy at least 100 times, for 20 to 45 minutes. Mr Adamson and Mr Marquez have different fathers but the the same mother.
The 21-year-old brother also reportedly told police he sexually assaulted the slain teen with a stick while he was still alive and then hit his head with a rock repeatedly.
Lewis County Chief Deputy Bruce Kimsey said in a statement that Benjamin’s father had reported him missing on 27 June after he did not return from the camping trip and he had not heard from his son.
On 28 June officers had come across a shallow grave site and according to the statement they were told it was for a dog which recently died, but “felt the information was suspicious in light of recent report of the runaway/missing juvenile”.
The coroner confirmed it was Benjamin’s body and that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
Court documents alleged: “The defendants realised the burial site would likely be discovered. So they dug up the body, wrapped Eastman in plastic from the barn of their grandparents, wrapped it with twine and buried the body on [their grandparents’] property” in Randle.
The pair are then suspected of burning the victim’s clothes as well as their own and a shovel, the head of which was found by police in a fire pit.
Due to the nature of the crime, Mr Marquez will be tried as an adult. Both brothers are being held on $10m bail each.
Friends described Benjamin to local news station Q13Fox as “always joking” and someone “everybody liked”. His father said: “There is evil people out there. I don’t know what makes them tick. I don’t want to know. I’m loved, and my son was loved and that’s all I’m about”.
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