BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. — A nearly 16-year cold case has been solved in Bucks County.
The county’s district attorney’s office said Tuesday Daman Smoot, 36, admitted earlier this month to killing Adam Brundage, his 26-year-old roommate, in October 2004 at Smoot’s place of work, Haines and Kibblehouse Quarry in Hilltown Township, Bucks County, and then burying his body on the property.
Smoot’s admission follows an agreement between him, his counsel and the DA’s Office, in which Smoot would enter into a guilty plea for third-degree murder if he confessed to the murder. It occurred as a result of evidence against Smoot, which was shown to him and his counsel on January 9, 2020, around nine months after the case into Brundage’s disappearance was reopened.
Smoot told authorities that he and Brundage met at the quarry on October 4, 2004 to get sand to fix a grading issue at Brundage’s residence in Quakertown, according to charging documents. An argument ensued between the two, Smoot advised, which led to Smoot striking Brundage in the head with a baseball bat and then covering the victim’s mouth and nose with his hand until he died. Smoot then buried the victim’s body.
Following Smoot’s confession, he was taken to the quarry and pointed out the location where he buried Brundage, whose remains were recovered January 16.
Conflicting statements regarding Brundage’s disappearance
Police were called to Brundage’s residence on Glen Meadow Court in Quakertown October 13, 2004 for a well-being check from his ex-girlfriend and mother of his two children, Brandy Scott. Officers knocked on the door and spoke to Smoot, who said his roommate was currently out of state.
An investigation into Brundage’s whereabouts continued into November. Police conducted interviews with those close to Brundage as well as neighbors who advised Smoot was living in the residence still and was driving the victim’s vehicle, a maroon 1997 Mercury Cougar.
As a result of these interviews, police determined that Smoot had conflicting explanations for Brundage’s absence, which are as followed, per charging documents:
- On November 12, 2004, when caught in possession of Brundage’s Mercury Cougar, Smoot told officers from the Hilltown Township Police Department that Brundage had been in Iowa but was now in West Virginia
- On November 12, 2004, Smoot spoke to Adam Brundage’s stepmother, Donna Brundage, three separate times. He first said that Brundage went to Wisconsin because there was a warrant for his arrest. In a later conversation that same day he said that Brundage went to Wisconsin because he had cancer. In the final conversation he (had) with Donna Brundage, he said that Brundage went to West Virginia for drug rehab.
- On this same date, he also spoke with Officer Newman of the Quakerstown Borough Police Department. He said that Brundage had been in Iowa for three weeks and was currently in West Virginia. He said that Brundage left the area because he owed child support as well as other bills.