Craigslist Killer: Two suspects arrested, high schooler charged

Richard J. Beasley
Richard J. Beasley

STOW, OH (WOIO) - A 16-year-old high school student arrested in connection with a Craigslist killing has been charged with one count of attempted murder and one count of complicity to attempted murder.

Brogan Rafferty, a student at Stow-Munroe Falls High School remains in police custody this weekend.

Court records show Rafferty helped Richard J. Beasley, 52, in connection with the attempted murder.

19 Action News has confirmed that Beasley is in custody at the Summit County Jail, being held on prostitution charges. He hasn't been arrested or charged in connection with this case at this time.

The horrific story unfolded in southeastern Ohio earlier this month where a Florida job seeker turned up dead and a South Carolina man was shot while trying to flee the crime scene.

The Noble County Sheriff's Department tells 19 Action News that they received a call on November 6th from a resident that a man had been shot. Officials responded to scene and interviewed the shooting victim who said he was shot while responding to a job listing on the popular website Craigslist.

He told police that the job listing was for a male to care for cattle on a 688 acre property.  The victim, whom police will not identify, says he met up with Rafferty and another man in Marietta, Ohio and followed them to Caldwell, Ohio where he parked his car and rode along with the two suspects to Don Warner Road in Stock Township.

The suspects said the road was closed due to a landslide and that they needed to walk a distance through a heavily wooded area. The victim and one of the men exited the vehicle and began walking when the victim heard what he thought was a gun being cocked. He turned and found a gun pointed at his head.

The victim deflected the gun and ran, he was shot in the right arm while running away. The victim successfully hid in the woods for the next seven hours before making his way to a home approximately two miles away before asking for help.

The next report in connection with the Craigslist ad happened on November 11th when the Noble County Sheriff's Office received information from a woman in Boston, Massachusetts that her twin brother from Florida was missing. The report was that the woman's brother had answered a job listing on Craigslist and felt very sure it was the same listing that the first victim had answered. The man was last seen on Oct. 22nd in Parkersburg, WV.

A missing persons report was filed at that time.

Armed with the new information, the Noble County Sheriff's Dept. returned to the scene at Don Warner Road and discovered what appeared to be a hand dug shallow grave. The grave was empty, however; the grave gave credibility to the theory that the gunman had planned to kill and bury their first victim but failed, and that it was possible that there could be a second victim.

Members of the Noble County Sheriff's Department, FBI and BCI Specialist Agents along with cadaver sniffing dogs returned to the crime scene Monday, Nov. 14th. Once on site, the body of a white male was found buried in another shallow grave. The body was in close proximity to the location where the first victim had been shot.

The Noble County Sheriff Department tells 19 Action News that body was transferred to the Licking County Coroner's Office. Both victims have yet to be identified by authorities due to a gag order.

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