Police: Roy man murdered 12-year-old nephew with machete, shot himself in head

ROY, Wash. -- A 12-year-old boy from Roy is dead, murdered by his uncle in his own home Sunday morning, police said.

Police said Christian Brayton, the boy’s 27-year-old uncle, took his own life shortly after neighbors called police.

The details in the case are devastating and gruesome – even investigators said they, too, were having a hard time coping.

Even more troubling about the murder-suicide, police said, is so far they can’t say for certain why it happened. Investigators said the boy and his uncle had last been seen playing video games together Saturday night.

“There was no indication this was going to happen or that he had any type of violent streak,” Pierce County Sheriff’s Detective Ed Troyer said. “What actually led up to this happening and why, we may never know.”

The county medical examiner identified the 12-year-old victim as Jesse Brayton. Police said he lived together with his uncle and grandfather.

“The grandpa was in the yard in hysterics," Troyer said. "The neighbors heard him and called 911.

“We got there, and that’s when we found the 12-year-old deceased, and it appears to be an attack from a machete.”

Police said they found Jesse’s body in the living room – but found his uncle, 27-year-old Christian Brayton, dead inside his truck, which had crashed through a JBLM fence less than two miles from their home.

Police said they found Christian dead inside his truck with an apparent gunshot wound to his head. His truck stopped after crashing into a tree.

Neighbors placed flowers on the front door step of the Braytons' home – one neighbor said Jesse’s grandparents were full of love and focused their lives on raising the boy as their own.

Now his small community is left struggling to understand why this happened, while mourning the loss of a bright young boy.

“There’s nothing that leads us to believe there was any type of altercation or anything the 12-year-old did to deserve this or incite this,” Troyer said.

Officials with the Bethel School District confirmed Jesse had been a student in their schools last year.

Police said they planned to investigate whether the uncle may have been suffering from mental health issues.