Missing Teen Is Found, but Case Takes a Twist

16-year-old is located in Washington state, then charged with murder
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2022 4:35 PM CDT
Case of Missing Teen Takes Bizarre Twist

It seemed like a good-news story at the time: On Sept. 1, police in Washington state found a 16-year-old boy in the woods who had been reporting missing the previous day, having failed to show up for football practice, reports the News Tribune. He was shirtless and in bare feet, and he told his rescuers he had no memory of what happened. His truck, with blood found inside it, had been previously discovered, along with his smashed phone near it. Then came the unexpected twist: On the same day police found the teen, they also found the body of a 51-year-old man, Daniel McGraw, in his home in Orting. Detectives now say the teen and another 16-year-old fatally shot and stabbed McGraw days earlier, in the early morning hours of Aug. 28, per KIRO7.

"What began as a case of a missing student-athlete has transformed into a complex homicide case," is how the Washington Post aptly puts it. One factor: The once-missing teen had lived with victim McGraw when McGraw had a relationship with the teen's mother. Another: The teen's biological father called police to say bikers had ordered his son to steal something from McGraw's house and threatened him if he didn't. The father says the second teen is the one who killed McGraw when he interrupted the burglary. The father also says these same bikers stopped his son in his truck and roughed him up after the murder, causing him to go missing in the woods. Detectives, though, say the disappearance was staged. Both teens are being charged as adults with murder as investigators try to sort everything out. They have pleaded not guilty. (More murder charges stories.)

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