Missing Wash. Teen Found Dead — and Childhood Friend Charged in Sex Assault, Beating Death
Benjamin Eastman 16, was reported missing on June 27 but was found in a shallow grave the following day
Two brothers are facing first-degree rape and murder charges in Washington State in the death of Benjamin Eastman III, a 16-year-old boy who was last seen alive on June 23.
A statement from investigators confirms the arrests of Jonathon Adamson, 21, and his 16-year-old brother, Benito Marquez. Each is being held on $10 million bail. (Marquez is being charged as an adult.)
Both are also charged with tampering with physical evidence and unlawful disposal of remains.
Eastman was reported missing on June 27. He lived with his father in Randle.
Family and friends spent days trying to contact Eastman, to no avail.
Investigators say they learned Eastman “had last been in contact with a same-aged male friend who lived nearby,” who was a longtime friend, identified as Marquez.
“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.”
While searching for the teen on June 28, deputies and detectives canvassed remote land owned by Marquez’s relative.
There, they say they learned of “a possible shallow grave” and “were advised the grave site was for a dog that had recently died.”
Police did not believe that story, and kept searching, honing in on a grave on the same parcel. They dug up the body of a teenage boy. It was determined to be Eastman, who had died from blunt force trauma.
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Charging documents obtained by PEOPLE allege the brothers “lured” Eastman into the woods for a camping trip sometime after Eastman and Marquez had been texting early on June 24.
Adamson and his brother allegedly knocked Eastman to the ground and assaulted him for about 20 to 45 minutes.
The charging documents allege Adamson told police he and Marquez sexually assaulted Eastman with a stick while he was still alive.
Before burying Eastman, the brothers allegedly beat Eastman in the head with a rock to ensure he was dead.
Neither Adamson nor Marquez has entered pleas to the charges against them. It was unclear if they had retained legal counsel who could comment on their behalf.