Four men arrested in murder of Newport teen

NEWPORT, Wash. — Four men have been arrested in the murder of a Newport teenager.

Jason Fox, 19, was reported missing on September 16. His remains were found October 4 and no arrests had been made until this past weekend.

The four suspects – Matthew Raddatz-Freeman, Kevin Belding, Riley James Hillestad and Claude Le Roy Merritt II — all appeared in court on Monday for the first time.

Full details about Fox’s murder have not been released, but authorities said his body was found buried, with his hands tied behind his back.

The first to appear on Monday was Raddatz-Freeman. The 28-year-old faces several charges, including: first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, unlawful disposal of human remains, failure to notify the coroner, unauthorized concealment of a body, second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission, tampering with physical evidence and making a false or misleading statement to a public servant.

His bond was set at $750,000.

Belding, 24, and Le Roy Merritt II, 25, appeared next. They have been charged with first and second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, unlawful disposal of human remains, unauthorized concealment of a body, failure to notify the coroner and making a false or misleading statement to law enforcement.

Hillestad was also set to appear, but the judge said he refused to leave the jail. It is not clear what charges he will be facing and no bond has been set for him since he did not appear. His first appearance has now been moved to Tuesday.

READ: ‘Jason didn’t deserve this’: What the mother of a murdered Newport teen wants you to know

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