Police in Northeast Ohio are continuing their investigation into what now may be the third homicide in a series of deaths linked to a job ad on Craigslist. The posting sought a caretaker at a cattle ranch just outside Akron.
An unknown number of people led to the ranch by the ad were victims of robberies, authorities say, which were in some cases violent.
Police say the body of David Pauley, 51, was found Nov. 15. He was reportedly coming from Norfolk, Va., looking for employment. Timothy Kern, 47, was found on Friday after telling his family weeks earlier that he was leaving for a new job. Another body, also found Friday in southeastern Ohio, remains unidentified, but investigators believe this body is also linked to the same killer. Each was shot to death, and each was found buried in a shallow grave.
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Authorities have two suspects in custody in connection with the killings: Richard Beasley, a 52-year-old chaplain with a long criminal history, and Brogan Rafferty, 16, both of the Akron area. Beasley has not been formally charged with the murders, but is being held on $1 million bond on prostitution-related charges. Rafferty is being held on attempted murder charges, ABC News reported.
Police were led to the two by a man who answered the job ad on Nov. 6, but upon realizing it was a setup, managed to escape, albeit with a gunshot wound to the arm. Rafferty’s mother Yvette told ABC her teenage son was manipulated by Beasley and that she doesn’t believe he is a murderer.
“I know one thing, my son told me that he didn’t do it,” she said on Good Morning America. “And I believe it. There is a monster here. But it’s not my son.”