Names confirmed in Craigslist farm ad shooting

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With updates. Last updated Nov. 23, 3:51

CALDWELL, Ohio — A Summit County juvenile and a 52-year-old man are being held in connection to the Craigslist murder in Ohio’s Noble County.

Brogan W. Rafferty, 16, of Stow, is charged in Noble County Court of Common Pleas Court for aggravated murder and attempted murder.

The second suspect, Richard J. Beasley, 52, is being held on $1 million bond in the Summit County Jail on multiple counts of promoting and compelling prostitution. Beasley has not yet been charged in the murder case, but court documents list him as accompanying Rafferty during the murder.

The details

Noble County Sheriff Stephen S. Hannum sent Farm and Dairy a release Nov. 17 announcing the murder scandal, which involves two suspects who produced a fictitious Craigslist ad seeking help on a 688-acre cattle farm.

Job seekers met Rafferty and Beasley in Marietta and later drove to the location of the alleged farm, along Don Warner Road in Stock Township. Instead of finding a job, they found themselves being gunned down and their possessions stolen.

According to the sheriff, one victim survived the incident and has now been identified as Scott Davis, whose address is unconfirmed. Another victim, David M. Pauley, address unconfirmed, was later found buried on the same property, murdered by a gunshot wound to the head.

Davis, the survivor, reportedly was taken to the area of the alleged farm, near Fulda, by the suspects, who later told him the road ahead was closed due to a landslide and they would need to continue on foot.

Close encounter

The men began walking through a heavily wooded area, allegedly en route to the farm, when Davis heard what he thought was a gun being cocked. Davis turned to see a gun pointed at his head and deflected the gun and ran, suffering one gunshot wound to the arm.

Davis was shot at multiple times and spent the next seven hours hiding in the woods, before making his way two miles to a house to call for help.

Third victim?

The crime remains under investigation by local authorities as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Authorities now believe a third man, Tim Kern, of Massillon, could also have responded to the same ad. He was reported missing around the same time as the murder, and his last Facebook page leaves a detailed message about responding to a similar ad for farm help.

“We’re still trying to determine Mr. Kern’s location and asking the public for any assistance, said Vicki Anderson, a special agent with the FBI.

It’s unknown whether Kern’s disappearance is related to the farm ad murder, and whether there could also be other suspects or victims.

“We’re taking information on any other matter that may be similar,” she said.

Mutual aid

The sheriff is working with the FBI and Homeland Security, as well as numerous county, state and federal offices and agencies in the investigation.

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