Bucks county investigators cracked a 15-year-old cold-case murder.
The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against Daman Smoot, 36, in regards to the disappearance and murder of his roommate, Adam Brundage, 26.
Inquirer.com reported that Smoot killed Brundage out of jealousy, beating him to death and burying him in a quarry. Smoot loved his roommate’s life so much that after his death he adopted Brundage’s identity, living in his home and driving his car.
Fifteen years later, Smoot came clean. He has been charged with criminal homicide for the 2004 murder.
Smoot negotiated a plea deal with the DA’s office; he will plead guilty to third-degree murder. Smoot is already serving a 5-to-10 year sentence in state prison for a 2011 domestic assault, which occurred in Montgomery County, according to Inquirer.com.
It was reported that Smoot and Brundage met through mutual friends in 2004. Shortly after moving in together, the victim purchased a home in Quakertown, using inheritance money from his father’s death a year prior.
In October 2004, Brundage disappeared. Smoot gave family and friends conflicting information about Brundage’s whereabouts. Investigators report that Smoot told some people that the victim had fled to Wisconsin to escape a warrant and others that Brundage was in rehab in West Virginia.
The victim’s stepmother, Donna Brundage, did not believe Smoot and always asked for proof, but he was never able to provide it.
The DA told outlets that the case was reopened in April with investigators continuing to pursue Smoot, who was their lead suspect throughout.
Inquirer.com reports that the murder occurred on Oct. 4, 2004. It was reported that Smoot told investigators that he beat Brundage with a baseball bat to the back of his head after an argument broke out at Haines and Kibblehoue Quarry in Chalfont.
Smoot worked at the quarry as a heavy-equipment operator. It was reported that the two visited the site to get sand to fix an issue at Brundage’s home. After beating the victim, Smoot held his hand over his nose and mouth “until he was certain Brundage was dead,” the affidavit said.
The body was buried in a deep sand berm. The burial site was so deep that investigators believe Smoot may have used machinery to dig and cover the grave.
On Jan. 9, Smoot confessed, opening up because he wanted to “unburden his soul and confess to the murder.”
DA Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub hopes that this will bring closure to the victim’s family.
“Adam never had a funeral, never had a gravemarker, just a tomb in the rock for 15 years,” Weintraub said to inquirer.com.
He added, “But I’m pleased to now say he’s been returned to his family for a proper burial.”
This is the third time prosecutors under Weintraub have solved cold-case murders.
Weintraub warned residents, “If you murder someone in Bucks County, don’t sleep… Because we will find you.”