Investigators identified a “person of interest” in a murder in which the victim’s body was found near a hillside bunker on Camano Island Saturday.
The Island County coroner determined that “homicidal violence with decapitation” was the cause of death for the 26-year-old victim, who was identified as Katherine Cunningham following a March 6 autopsy. She died several days before her body was discovered, according to the sheriff’s office.
Based on the evidence, investigators are looking for 34-year-old Jacob Gonzales, according to a press release. Gonzales is a Hispanic male, 5-foot-9, 150 pounds with black hair and hazel eyes. He may be heading to the Central or Southern California area.
Gonzales is considered armed and dangerous. Police warn the public not to approach him.
Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said people walking on the undeveloped, wooded property near Tamarack Lane on South Camano Island reported finding Cunningham’s body at about 2:30 p.m. March 3, next to a bunker that was dug into a hillside.
The bunker contained a cache of guns, bullets and supplies, which were seized by investigators.
Cunningham and Gonzales were living together in a travel trailer on the property. Investigators believe the murder likely occurred inside the trailer.
Island County Coroner Robert Bishop confirms that Cunningham was not killed where her body was found.
Detectives with the sheriff’s office, members of the Washington State Patrol Crime lab and the coroner served several search warrants on the property and the trailer.
Anyone with information about Gonzalez or his recent whereabouts is asked to contact their local law enforcement agency or Detective Ed Wallace via the ICOM dispatch center at 360-679-9567 or Tips@co.island.wa.us