Boy Raped and Murdered while Camping with Friends in Washington State
RANDLE, WA — July 6, 2018
According to police, Benjamin Eastman, a 16-year-old boy who was last seen on June 24th, was raped and murdered by two of his friends.
They are also charged with tampering with physical evidence and unlawful disposal of remains. The two were identified as Jonathan Adamson, 21, and his 16-year-old brother, Benito Marquez. Each is being held on $10 million bail.
The authorities say that Eastman “had last been in contact with a same-aged male friend who lived nearby.” He was a childhood friend of the two brothers.
“Deputies were told the two had planned on meeting up that evening, but according to the friend, [Eastman] never showed up,” reads a statement from the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. “That was the last known contact with the missing 16-year-old. Deputies interviewed the friend on June 28, 2018, and he relayed that he had not seen the missing 16-year-old in several days.”
The boy was declared missing on June 27, when his father could not account for his whereabouts. For several days he and other relatives had tried to contact Eastman, but finally they gave up and went to the police. Detectives questioned everyone who was known to have seen him in the days leading up to his disappearance. They learned about remote plot of land owned by Marquez’s grandparents.
Acting on a tip from Eastman's family, they went to some woods on that plot of land and found “a possible shallow grave” and “were advised the grave site was for a dog that had recently died.”
After the discovery the Crime Scene Unit went back and did a second sweep of the place. A few hours later they dug up the body of a teenage boy. It was determined to be Eastman, who had died from blunt force trauma.
It subsequently transpired that the two brothers, Adamson and Marquez, had invited their friend to go camping with them on June 24th.
When they entered the woods, the brothers knocked Eastman to the ground and punched and kicked him at least 100 times, for 20 to 45 minutes. They then sexually assaulted him with a stick while he was still alive.
Once they had finished raping him, they beat Eastman in the head with a rock to ensure he was dead. Then they buried him along with his clothes and the shovel they used to dig his grave.
Law enforcement and the boy's relatives are baffled as to why they did it. Nobody was aware of any conflict between the friends.
The future of the two brothers will be determined in these next few days. Due to the nature of the crime, Marquez will be tried as an adult. Neither Adamson nor Marquez have entered any pleas to the charges against them.
According to the court documents, “the defendants realized 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.