ARLINGTON — An Arlington-area man tried to cover up the stabbing death of his wife by fleeing Snohomish County, cutting his hair and using her phone to make it seem like she was still alive, according to sheriff’s reports filed in court this week.
Detectives believe Homero Osuna Gonzalez, 25, killed his partner of three years late Thursday, when he flew into a rage and stabbed her at least 15 times at their home in the 400 block of 200th Street NW, west of Smokey Point.
He told a friend — and later sheriff’s detectives — that he killed his wife, and he was arrested Friday in Kirkland for investigation of murder, according to court papers.
Authorities had not publicly released the name of the deceased as of Tuesday. Court papers say the couple had plans for a formal wedding celebration in August.
According to statements the suspect later made to detectives, Osuna Gonzales went to great lengths to cover his tracks. Right after the stabbing, he undressed, washed his clothes and took a shower while wearing gloves, police reports say. He shaved his head and trimmed his facial hair, according to his report.
Osuna Gonzalez then “tried to sleep” on the couch, he told detectives. He eventually got up to pack clothes and food. He fled in his deceased wife’s Honda Civic.
According to detectives, Osuna Gonzalez admitted he used his wife’s phone and pretended to be her, responding to messages to throw off family and friends.
A man called 911 around 9:30 a.m. Friday to report he’d received a call from his friend, Osuna Gonzalez, saying he had killed his girlfriend.
Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies arrived at the suspect’s Arlington-area home and found a white 2007 Toyota Scion registered to the suspect, according to court papers.
At first glance, everything seemed fine at the home, according to the police reports. Deputies looked in the windows and saw no signs of a struggle. The deputies knocked. Nobody answered. They entered with a key. The home seemed “neat and organized,” according to court papers.
Deputies found the woman’s body in the bedroom. A large butcher-style knife was found next to her hand. Her injuries did not appear to be self-inflicted.
Major Crimes detectives served a search warrant at the home. They observed the victim had suffered knife wounds to her face, neck and other parts of her body. She also suffered stab wounds to her back, and what was described as a “defensive type wound” to her hand.
A bulletin was sent out to law enforcement in the state that the suspect was at large. Authorities found and arrested Osuna Gonzalez around 10:50 a.m. Friday at Totem Lake Park in Kirkland.
The suspect reportedly admitted to the crime. He told detectives he had “been having troubles with his wife” starting early last week. He accused her of having an affair, and according to Osuna Gonzalez, she admitted to it when he confronted her around 10 p.m. Thursday.
The husband had been drinking, he reported. He told detectives he “lost control.” He stabbed his wife repeatedly until she fell.
Osuna Gonzalez, who grew up in Venezuela, immigrated to the United States in 2014. He attended Everett Community College on a soccer scholarship. The couple met when they were both enrolled at the college, defense attorney Kenneth Williams said. They reportedly married in November 2020.
Osuna Gonzalez was reportedly enrolled at Western Washington University in Bellingham, where he was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in marketing.
The suspect was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree murder with a deadly weapon. Detective David Fontenot wrote he believed the crime was premeditated because Osuna Gonzalez reported he paused at one point before attacking her in a vulnerable part of her body, “with the intention of causing her death.”
Williams countered that the suspect’s crime was one of passion.
“The allegations are that this assault was prompted by exposure of infidelity between husband and wife,” Williams told the judge. “It is the defense argument that that stress in the brain during the commission of this crime makes it impossible for him to premeditate this murder.”
Williams asked the judge to set bail at $50,000. Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Corinne Klein asked the judge for $2 million bail.
“Admitting to infidelity is not provocation of homicide,” Everett District Court Judge Anthony Howard said. “So that I find offensive.”
Howard found probable cause to hold Osuna Gonzalez on a charge of first-degree murder. The judge set bail at $2 million.
Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @reporterellen