RANDLE, Wash. -- Friends gathered at a vigil Tuesday night to honor the memory of Benjamin Eastman, the 16-year-old boy who was brutally murdered and found in a shallow grave last week.
A 16-year-old "friend" of Benjamin and his 21-year-old brother have been charged with his rape and murder.
People gathered Tuesday night at White Pass High School, which Benjamin attended. His friends held up candles and released dozens of blue and orange balloons into the air in his memory.
One of Benjamin's childhood friends said he was one of a kind, "a bright, shining soul."
His principal, Chris Schumaker, said the community is in shock and scared over the details of the murder.
"I think any community would say that's not supposed to happen here. We're small. We're supposed to be protected from that kind of stuff. We're small town USA, that stuff doesn't happen here," Schumaker said.
"And all of sudden it happens and you're shocked. And you're shocked. And you're scared. And you're shocked and you're scared some more. And you grieve and then you try to build your life back together. And as parents, we just kind of tell our kids, we'll be OK and we will move forward. And as a school, we support our kids."
Two brothers were charged Monday in Benjamin's murder.
Jonathon Adamson, 21, and Benito Marquez, 16, were charged in Lewis County Superior Court with first-degree murder, first-degree rape, tampering with physical evidence and unlawful disposal of remains in the death of Benjamin. Prosecutors decided to charge Marquez as an adult. The judge ordered them held on $10 million bail.
According to charging documents from the Lewis County prosecutor’s office:
Cellphone records show the brothers lured Eastman into the woods for a camping trip in the early morning hours of June 24, but they planned to assault him.
Adamson allegedly told detectives that once they were in the woods, they proceeded to get Eastman on the ground and assault him for 20-45 minutes. Adamson said he estimated they kicked Eastman more than 100 times, and a pathologist agreed with those numbers and said the boy died of blunt-force trauma.
Adamson also allegedly told detectives they sexually assaulted Eastman with a stick while he was alive.