A Kent man was recently charged with first-degree murder after being accused of killing a woman and burying her body in an Auburn park in early May, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Richard Bradley, 38, was charged with premeditated first-degree murder on May 28 in the death of Brandi Blake, a 44-year-old Federal Way woman who went missing around May 5. Blake died from multiple blunt force injuries and her death was ruled a homicide, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Bradley is being held at King County Jail in lieu of $3 million bail. His arraignment is set for June 7 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.
Blake’s family reported her missing to Federal Way police after she did not return phone calls or respond to social media messages on May 5.
In an interview with detectives, Blake’s niece said Blake had brought Bradley and his wife to her Federal Way apartment, then visited Blake’s storage unit on May 5. Blake’s friend told detectives he met with Blake at a Federal Way hotel on May 5, where Blake said Bradley told her he needed help selling gold that he had stashed from a previous robbery.
Bradley’s wife told detectives that on May 5, Bradley and Blake left the hotel room together, and Bradley later returned alone, claiming he had dropped off Blake and that she gave him permission to borrow her Ford Mustang.
Surveillance video showed the Mustang pulling up to a Walgreens in Auburn. Bradley and Blake entered the store, then left shortly after. About two hours later, Bradley was seen arriving to the Federal Way hotel alone in the Mustang.
In the investigation, detectives learned Blake had recently won $20,000 from the casino and also had a key to Game Farm Park in Auburn, where her body was later found. Investigators also discovered Blake sold drugs.
On May 21, police searched Bradley’s RV and found three firearms and a backpack containing three pounds of meth, a pound of heroin and over 1,000 Percocet pills, along with a receipt from the Auburn Walgreens from May 5. One of the guns and the backpack belonged to Blake, documents state.
On May 26, a K-9 search of Game Farm Park — a wilderness area located a three-minute drive from the Auburn Walgreens — was conducted and detectives spoke with a resident of the park who said a few weeks ago around 9 p.m., he heard someone yelling for help. He found a man, who matched the description of Bradley, carrying a folding shovel and a backpack.
The witness said the man was lost, and the witness helped him find his way back to a Mustang parked on the road. The man returned a few days later and thanked the witness by giving him a large bag of crystal meth.
During the search, detectives located Blake’s body “face down in a shallow, poorly covered grave,” documents state. A shovel, a pick axe and a key to the Federal Way hotel were found near her body.
Bradley was previously charged with second-degree arson after he attempted to pay a man to burn a Dodge Durango that belonged to two homicide victims and was found to be in possession of the victims’ items, according to charging documents. He also faces two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.
Bradley told a man to “make sure the front seats were destroyed in the fire” when told to go to an impound yard in Auburn where the Dodge Durango was located, according to charging documents.
Bodies of the two victims, 59-year-old Michael Goeman and his son, 31-year-old Vance Lakey, were found in the 36800 block of 56th Place South in unincorporated King County a week apart in late April. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled both deaths as homicides. Goeman died from a gunshot wound to the head and Lakey died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head.
Their deaths remain under investigation by the King County Sheriff’s Office.
A GoFundMe has been organized to help cover the expenses of Blake’s memorial service.
“We are devastated at the sudden loss of Brandi Blake,” the fundraiser, organized by Lisa Blake, reads in part. “Her death was unexpected and a total shock for all her friends and her family … We will all miss her beautiful smile and great sense of humor. Brandi was such a kind and caring soul and would give anyone the shirt off her back. She will forever be in our hearts.”
So far, nearly $9,700 has been donated to the fundraiser’s $20,000 goal.