‘Person of interest’ ID’ed in Camano decapitation murder

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 of California, 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 to be 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. Investigators believe the woman was “specifically targeted” and that the murder was not a random act, according to the sheriff’s office.

Detectives with the sheriff’s office, members of the Washington State Patrol Crime lab and the coroner served several search warrants on the property.

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

Gonzales is believed to be driving a green 1990 Mitsubishi Montero with Washington license AYE2639.

Gonzales is believed to be driving a green 1990 Mitsubishi Montero with Washington license AYE2639.

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