Authorities in Washington are crediting forensic science for securing charges against a suspect in the February beheading of woman in the Seattle area.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 33-year-old Jacob Gonzales was wanted by Washington state police in connection with the brutal decapitation murder.
The California man allegedly killed 26-year-old Katherine Cunningham, whose headless body was found near a heavily fortified bunker on March 3.
According to Fox News, a samurai sword investigators believe was used as the murder weapon led them to crucial evidence in the case.
Gonzales’ abandoned Honda Civic was found in Yreka, Calilfornia, hours from the site of the grisly discovery. Forensic scientists analyzed DNA evidence on the sword found inside and identified an apparent link between the suspect and victim.
A statement from the Island County Sheriff’s Office said that the report “indicated that Ms. Cunningham’s blood was on the blade of the sword, and Mr. Gonzales’ DNA was on the hilt.”
The new evidence resulted in upgraded charges announced this week, including second-degree domestic violence murder.
“Based on those results, we amended the charges,” the sheriff’s office stated.
As of the latest reports available, a $1 million nationwide arrest warrant against Gonzales was still in effect. He could face as much as 28 years behind bars if convicted of the latest charges.
Though authorities have previously advised that the attack is believed to have been targeted, they have warned the public not to approach Gonzales and instead call 911 with any possible sightings.
[Featured image: Jacob Gonzales/Island County Sheriff’s Office via AP]