GRAHAM, Wash. — When Xavier Gamez met a prospective buyer for his 2002 Audi, he thought he was playing it safe.
The 18-year-old was joined by his grandfather and met the man at a Safeway in Graham on Sunday. Gamez joined the man on a test drive but never returned.
“He left with the person that assaulted him and took his car somewhere between the time he started the test drive and when we found his body on the side of the road,” said Pierce County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Detective Ed Troyer.
Gamez was found by a passing motorist severely beaten. According to social media posts by family members, he was placed in a medically induced coma after being taken to Tacoma General Hospital.
His stolen car was later found outside a residence in south Pierce County.
According to the posts, the man who left on the test drive with Gamez was a black man with a medium complexion in his 30s. Family members said the man had a slender build, was wearing a black leather jacket and had a small tattoo on his neck.
“Right now, we’re continuing to work this almost like a homicide,” said Troyer. “We’re doing search warrants. We’ve got our specialty detectives working on this because somebody who does this is probably going to do it again.”
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