A 16-year-old boy posted on Facebook for help finding his missing friend. Then he got charged with his rape and murder
Benny Marquez has been arrested for the murder of his classmate Benjamin Eastman
In the early hours of Thursday morning last week, 16-year-old Benny Marquez posted an appeal for his missing friend on Facebook. Benjamin Eastman, a classmate from high school, had disappeared four days earlier in Randle, Washington. “Please if you hear anything about him or where he’s at notify Bj Eastman [his father] and send prayers out for his family,” Marquez wrote at 2 AM.
The first comments under his post were supportive. A friend asked Marquez to make it public so they could share it, another commented a photo of a missing person poster. But within hours, the comments took a sharp turn. Because by 10.25 PM that same day, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office sent out a press release looking for information about Benny Marquez in connection to Eastman’s death.
Four days later, Marquez was arrested for raping and murdering his friend. According to Eastman’s family, who spoke to babe for this article, his body was found in a shallow grave on property owned by Marquez’s grandparents. He was 16 years old.
Marquez’s 21-year-old brother, Jonathan Adamson, has also been arrested. Both face a disturbing list of charges: first-degree murder, first-degree rape, tampering with physical evidence and unlawful disposal of remains. They were pulled over driving on the I-90 outside Ellensburg, WA – 120 miles away from home, two days after the Facebook post. A judge ordered their bail to be set at $10 million.
Marquez’s Facebook post, uncovered by babe, appears to be an attempt to cover his tracks for his alleged role in Eastman’s brutal death on June 24th. Law enforcement say Eastman was lured out of his family home with the promise of camping trip with his friend. The teen had spent the evening with his dad playing video games, according to social media records, before he left around 3 AM. He messaged his friend Marquez to say he was en route. And that was the last trace of him alive.
It was Eastman’s family who found his body. Having scanned through his Facebook messages, BJ Eastman determined his son Benjamin had gone over to see Marquez. The family discovered what looked like a grave, and then they called the cops.
Police arrived on the scene to find the shallow grave, which was marked by a cross made of sticks. They moved the soil to reveal a human foot. Officers tried to contact Marquez and Adamson, but they had fled. After they were pulled over near Ellensburg on June 29th, Adamson confessed to murder. The details of the murder, as reported by police, are extremely distressing.
Adamson said once he and his brother lured Eastman into the woods, they pushed him to the ground and assaulted him for 20-45 minutes, kicking him “more than 100 times.” Law enforcement say a pathologist has agreed with those numbers.
Adamson allegedly told detectives they raped Eastman with a stick while Marquez held his shoulders. They then are believed to have hit him with a rock to strike a lethal blow before burying him. The two brothers burned his clothes, their clothes and their shovel, according to police. Court documents add they later dug Eastman’s body back up and buried him in a different place, fearing he would be discovered.
Police have not released a motive for the murder, although family members who spoke to babe believe it could be related to an argument involving Marquez’s younger sister, who Eastman had dated. “There was a romantic involvement between them,” BJ Eastman said. “We have not quite got the details.”
He went on to say how his son Benjamin, a point guard on his school basketball team, brought a smile to everyone’s face. “No matter what mood you were in, you were going to be smiling. No matter how mad you were at him.”
“He was a very happy kid, a jokester always playing around with people,” added Mareesa Emmett, Benjamin’s aunt. “Just the type of kid who brightened the room when he came in.”
“He loved the outdoors and loved life,” BJ Eastman said, welling up on the phone. “Everyone in the community’s putting all their hate aside to come together. It’s been about the love and the joy and the smile that he brought.”
Like his dad, Eastman supported the Florida Gators and the Miami Dolphins. “I just want them to recognize he was one of their best fans,” said his dad. “That would be one of the greatest gifts I could get out of some of this.”
Marquez and Adamson’s arraignment is set for July 12th, where Marquez will be tried as an adult. If convicted, both could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
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