A 17-year-old Richland boy reportedly was lured into the desert, then shot and killed early Thursday, say Richland police.
Two other Richland teens have been arrested in connection with the death of Joshua J. Snapp near Richland's Horn Rapids Off Road Vehicle Park.
Joshua H. Hunt, 19, and John C. Young, 18, allegedly lured Snapp to Beardsley Road off Highway 240, claiming they were going to smoke marijuana, said Richland police Capt. Mike Cobb.
Instead, the two confronted Snapp, accusing him of being a "snitch," Cobb said. They also brought up money that Snapp apparently owed to Hunt.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Hunt and Young are suspected of then shooting Snapp in the chest and the head and leaving his body in the desert, Cobb said.
They drove through the Benton City area and reportedly tossed a backpack with several items inside into the Yakima River. Cobb said police were still searching Thursday evening for the backpack.
A clerk at the Benton City Conoco station called 911 at 7:45 a.m. after Young came in and told her that Hunt had shot and killed someone, Cobb said. Young apparently asked the clerk to make the call.
Benton County Sheriff's deputies came to the gas station and took both teens into custody, Cobb said.
Sheriff's deputies and Richland police found Snapp's body off Beardsley Road, Cobb said. He was a couple of hundred yards within the city limits, he said.
Beardsley Road remained blocked off with yellow crime scene tape Thursday afternoon, with several orange cones marking evidence.
The case remains under investigation. The two suspects have been booked into the Benton County jail on 72-hour investigative holds on suspicion of first-degree murder, Cobb said.
The autopsy is scheduled for 10 a.m. today, said John Hansens, Benton County coroner. Dr. Carl Wigren, a forensic pathologist from Seattle, will perform the autopsy.