California Man Accused of Murder for Beheading Girlfriend with Samurai Sword

Police say they are seeking the whereabouts of Jacob GONZALES, seen here in March 2017.
Island County Sheriff's Office

Police are searching for a California man accused of beheading his girlfriend with a samurai sword after authorities found his DNA on the alleged murder weapon.

Authorities are on the lookout for Jacob Gonzales, 33, of Los Banos, and charged him Friday with murder in connection with the death of Katherine Cunningham, 26, upon discovering that the suspect’s DNA was a match with the DNA authorities found on the sword’s handle, the Daily Mail reported.

Investigators found the sword inside the trunk of a Honda Civic 560 miles away from where Cunningham’s body had been found, ran DNA tests on it, and revealed Wednesday that the blade of the sword contained Cunningham’s blood. Test results also revealed that Gonzales’ DNA was on the sword’s handle.

Authorities found Cunningham’s body on Camano Island in Washington on March 3 and initially charged Gonzales with vehicle and firearms theft. Detectives found a bunker containing ammunition, supplies, and firearms near the body.

“Based on those results, we amended the charges,” the Island County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement explaining the updated charge of “domestic violence murder in the second degree while armed with a deadly weapon” on Friday.

There is currently a $1 million warrant out for Gonzales’ arrest. Police describe Gonzales as a Hispanic male with black hair, hazel eyes, 5’9” tall and weighing around 150 lbs. Authorities say he is considered “armed and dangerous.”

Samurai swords have been used as a weapon of choice for many criminals. In March, a woman allegedly used a samurai sword to stab her boyfriend in an alleged plot to kill him.


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