Sixteen years after a 26-year-old Sabula man went missing, his roommate in Pennsylvania confessed to beating him with a baseball bat, then suffocating him.
Daman Andrew Smoot led authorities to the body of Adam Brundage in a Pennsylvania quarry. Pennsylvania law enforcement recovered Brundage’s body Jan. 16.
Brundage grew up in Sabula with his grandparents, Betty and Victor Brundage, before moving to Pennsylvania with his father, Randy Brundage.
Adam Brundage had two daughters and was working at an organic grocery warehouse at the time of his death.
“He was an avid reader and coin collector and was very attached to his two cats,” law enforcement officials wrote in the criminal case against Smoot.
In Pennsylvania, Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub announced Smoot’s arrest in a press conference, saying Smoot’s motive reminded him of the movie “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”
“In essence, Daman Smoot was jealous… He wanted the things that Adam had and that Adam had access to.”
After Brundage’s death, Smoot “assumed his life in a way… He started driving his car and using his things as though [Brundage’s] life were his own.”
Brundage had received an inheritance after his father’s death, which he used toward a down payment on a townhouse in Quakertown Borough, as well as his prized maroon Mercury Cougar.
Smoot had moved in with Brundage a few weeks before Brundage’s disappearance. Brundage’s grandmother said her grandson complained about his new roommate in their last phone call together.
In October and November of 2004, multiple family members contacted law enforcement to report they hadn’t heard from Brundage, which was unusual. Police investigated, and Smoot gave police varying, fanciful stories of where Brundage might be, according to Bucks County law enforcement.
Smoot continued to live in Brundage’s home and was found to be stealing electricity at the address. He also told family members that Brundage had wanted him to have the home and car, according to law enforcement.
This year, with Smoot already in jail on an assault charge, authorities questioned him again. “We continued to press and press and press until that compression yielded cooperation,” Weintraub told reporters at the press conference.
Smoot agreed to cooperate with investigators. In exchange, he will plead guilty to third-degree murder, with a sentence of 20 to 40 years and eligibility for parole at age 62.
Smoot said that on the night of Oct. 4, 2004, Brundage went to help him at H&K Quarry where he worked. The two argued, and Smoot struck him on the back of the skull with a baseball bat, “then covered Brundage’s nose and mouth until he was certain Brundage was dead.”
Smoot, a heavy-equipment operator, buried Brundage’s body in a sand berm. Sixteen years later, he led investigators to the location, where Brundage’s body was found Jan. 16 after “careful and extensive digging.”
Brundage’s body will be returned to his family for burial. Weintraub also said authorities had communicated with family members and acted with their assent in arranging the plea deal.
“Adam was buried at a quarry,” Weintraub said. “He never had a funeral. He didn’t have a grave marker. No epitaph. Just a tomb in the rock.”
More details available
Go to maqnews.com to read the full criminal complaint and watch the district attorney’s announcement (https://bucks.crimewatchpa.com/sites/default/files/29567/post/attachments/daman_smoot_pc.pdf) and video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGrw2E41GrI