Suspect Jacob Gonzales Sought In Samurai Sword Beheading Of Camano Island Woman

Jacob Gonzales sought in beheading death
Island County Sheriff's Office via AP

Police are seeking a suspect they believe was responsible in the beheading death of a Camano Island, Washington, woman.

“Jacob Gonzales is now charged with domestic violence murder in the second degree while armed with a deadly weapon, Island County Sheriff officials said Friday,” reports KIRO7. The woman he is accused of killing back in mid-February is Katherine Cunningham, 26, whose body was found decapitated near a hillside bunker on the south end of the island, just north of Seattle on March 3. That bunker contained firearms, ammunition, and supplies. Yet the weapon he is accused of using wasn’t your average one used in crime on the island — or anywhere else.

“Police said a samurai sword was recovered from the trunk of Katherine Cunningham’s stolen car, which was abandoned near Yreka, California,” which is around 560 miles away from where her body was found. “The sword underwent biological evidence testing, which recovered Cunningham’s blood on the blade of the sword and Gonzales’ DNA on the hilt,” reports KIRO7. Originally, Gonzales was just a person of interest in the killing but all of that changed once the DNA test results came back.

According to KOMONews, police believe that Cunningham’s murder wasn’t some random act of violence, but rather that she was targeted by the suspect.

“Gonzales may have been staying in a trailer on the Tamarack Lane property with Cunningham before her murder, Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said. Her body was found by a couple of people looking to possibly buy the property, court documents say,” reports KOMONews.

While the police aren’t saying much more than that, the charge certainly implies that the case is that of domestic abuse ending tragically.

“Autopsy findings determined Cunningham’s cause of death was ‘homicidal violence with decapitation,’ according to the coroner’s office,” reports Fox News.

As police try to hunt down the alleged killer, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of clues as to where he could have taken off. The court files said, according to KOMONews, that Gonzales stole Cunningham’s Honda Civic and fled the state, which was how they were able to locate the murder weapon after finding the car in California.

They do warn that if anyone sees Gonzales, who’s “described as Hispanic, 5 feet 9 inches tall, 150 pounds, with black hair and hazel eyes,” that you should not approach him. Anyone with information should contact Detective Ed Wallace via the ICOM dispatch center at 360-679-9567 or tips@co.island.wa.us.