Suspects' Mom and Girlfriend Allegedly Knew Missing 16-Year-Old Was Murdered — but Said Nothing
The girlfriend of one of the suspects accused of viciously raping and murdering a 16-year-old boy in Washington in June was arrested this week for her suspected efforts to hinder investigators following the teen’s killing, PEOPLE confirms.
Emma L. Brown, 20, was arrested Wednesday night after turning herself in on a warrant, according to Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer.
Brown is charged with two counts of rendering criminal assistance in the first-degree in the death of Benjamin Eastman III, Meyer says.
Brown is the girlfriend of 21-year-old Jonathon Adamson, who along with his younger brother, Benito “Benny” Marquez, 16, has been charged with first-degree murder and rape, among other counts, in Eastman’s fatal beating.
She is being held at the Lewis County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond, detention records show. Prosecutors say she is expected to appear in court on Thursday. It is unclear whether she has retained an attorney who could speak on her behalf.
Her arrest comes shortly after the suspects’ mom, Kindra Adamson, was also taken into custody this week and charged with two counts of rendering criminal assistance in the first-degree.
A probable cause affidavit in Brown’s case, obtained by PEOPLE, shows authorities believe her boyfriend told her “about killing [Eastman] and burying his body and he said she was upset but still loved him.”
However, in an interview with investigators, Brown was “deliberately misleading as she stated she did not know anything else about the case when asked” about Eastman, who was then missing, according to the affidavit.
Kindra faces similar accusations: Charing documents against her allege that she learned of Eastman’s murder not long after it happened on June 24 but was also “deliberately misleading” in a subsequent police interview. She allegedly said she had “no idea where was Ben was at and he [was] like a son to her,” the affidavit in her case states.
But Kindra’s younger son, Marquez, told her “what they had done” later that Sunday while “destroying evidence by burning their clothes and Ben’s clothes” at her house with her present, the affidavit alleges.
Instead of revealing the murder, Kindra allegedly “continued to provide false information to deliberately stall and/or mislead” law enforcement.
The affidavit supporting Kendra’s arrest alleges that “[Jonathon] also stated he had also disclosed this information to his girlfriend, Emma L. Brown.”
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Eastman’s last known interaction while he was alive was communicating with Marquez early on June 24, prosecutors have said. Authorities believe he was “lured” into the woods “under the guise of a camping trip,” then attacked by Marquez, his lifelong friend, and Marquez’s older brother.
Eastman’s body was found on June 28 in a shallow grave on property owned by the suspects’ grandparents.
Kindra appeared in Lewis County Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon. It was not immediately clear if she has retained an attorney who could comment on her behalf.
Detention records show she is also being held at the Lewis County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond.
Eastman’s father, Benjamin “B.J.” Eastman Jr., told PEOPLE he last saw his son on the night of June 23. The next morning, when he realized Ben had left home, he figured the teen was at Marquez’s house, where he often spent time as the two had been close friends since kindergarten.
With his son still missing days later, B.J. began a fruitless search.
His hunt for his son turned tragic when Ben’s body was found wrapped in plastic and twine in a lonely stretch of a local property. The dirt covering his body was marked by a homemade cross of sticks.
According to charging documents previously obtained by PEOPLE, Ben had been sexually assaulted with a stick and savagely beaten and kicked — and, to “ensure” he was dead, he’d been repeatedly hit on the head with a rock. Authorities said he died of blunt force trauma.
On June 29, police took Jonathon and Marquez into custody after they allegedly fled the county and headed east.
PEOPLE’s attempts to reach Marquez’s family have not been successful. A lawyer for him and Jonathon previously declined to comment, saying it was still early in the case. The brothers are being held in lieu of $10 million bond each and are tentatively scheduled to return to court on Thursday.
Speaking with PEOPLE earlier this week, Ben’s dad said he was still grappling with the extremely violent — and intimate — details of Ben’s slaying.
“The brutality in this … I just can’t imagine,” he said. “I just hope the Lord put my son’s mind in a safe place.”
Of the suspects, whom he sat front-row to see in court last week, B.J. said: “There are just evil people out there.”
He said, “To get two evil people like that out of one batch … something’s going on.”
Anyone with additional information in the case is urged to call the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at 360-748-9286 or Lewis County Communications at 360-740-1105.