‘Person of interest’ in murder wanted on $1 million bail

The 34-year-old man named as a “person of interest” in the murder and decapitation of a woman on Camano Island is being sought on a $1 million warrant.

A missing car belonging to the victim, Katherine Cunningham, 26, was located abandoned on Interstate 5 in Yreka, Calif. It was impounded and will be transported to Island County for processing.

Court documents filed Friday offer new details about the grisly crime and about Jacob Gonzales, the wanted man. A friend of Gonzales’ gave investigators a troubling description of the man.

“He described Gonzales as a ‘bunker nut’ type person that was afraid that the government was going to take his guns away, and that Gonzales wanted to live ‘off the grid,’” according to the affidavit of probable cause.

Prosecutors charged Jacob Gonzales in Island County Superior Court March 9 with theft of a motor vehicle and five counts of unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree.

The affidavit of probable cause explains that on March 3 Cunningham’s body was discovered by a neighbor and some friends who were walking the 10-acre, undeveloped property. The neighbor was interested in buying the property.

The group saw a red wagon and tarps in a ravine and investigated further, finding a sleeping bag wrapped in a tarp. One of the people pushed back the top of the sleeping bag and revealed Cunningham’s decapitated body.

The group followed a trail of empty nylon bags and found a large hole in a hill, which turned out to be a bunker.

Investigators later entered the bunker and found two bolt-action rifles, a semi-automatic .22 caliber rifle with an altered stock and a shotgun. There was also thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Detectives located a dilapidated travel trailer on the property. The owner of the property told investigators that Gonzales and Cunningham had been living in the trailer for several months. Investigators found a 9mm pistol in a man’s hiking boot inside the trailer.

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