Man sought in death of woman who was found beheaded on Camano

Jacob Gonzales, 34, is thought to be armed, dangerous and possibly headed to California.

The Island County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information on the whereabouts of 34-year-old Jacob Gonzales. (Island County Sheriff’s Office)

The Island County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information on the whereabouts of 34-year-old Jacob Gonzales. (Island County Sheriff’s Office)

CAMANO ISLAND — A woman found dead on Camano Island was beheaded, and a person of interest might be on the run to California, according to the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

Katherine Cunningham, 26, was found around 2:30 p.m. Saturday, on undeveloped property off of Tamarack Lane on the south end of the island, according to the sheriff’s office.

Nearby on the vacant lot, deputies uncovered a bunker dug into a hillside. The bunker had been stocked with guns, ammo and supplies. Detectives worked long hours searching for evidence on the land for three days, Sheriff Mark Brown said. The Island County Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy Tuesday, and confirmed Cunningham was a victim of homicidal violence with decapitation. She had been dead for at least several days.

It didn’t appear Cunningham had been reported missing, Brown said.

The sheriff’s office announced Wednesday that they were searching for Jacob Gonzales, 34, who might have fled to central or southern California in a green 1990 Mitsubishi Montero, with Washington license plates AYE2639. He’s 5-foot-9, 150 pounds, with hazel eyes and black hair.

Gonzales had rented a trailer on the Camano Island property, but it’s not clear when he had last been there, the sheriff said. He’s considered armed and dangerous. Detectives were investigating what link Gonzales had to Cunningham.

“We’re working on that,” Brown said. “We’re asking for leads.”

Brown declined to further discuss the bunker or the cache of weapons.

If you know Gonzales’ whereabouts, or any other information that could help solve the case, call 911. Or contact detective Ed Wallace at 360-679-9567 or Tips@co.island.wa.us.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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