Body was found floating in Feather River in Yuba City, California, dressed as a woman, in April 2018 positively identified via DNA Tuesday as 33-year-old Jacob Gonzales,
Gonzales was only suspect in the murder of his girlfriend, 26-year-old AirForce reservist Katherine Cunningham
Cunningham was beheaded with a samurai sword sometime between Feb 14 or 15, 2018 , on Camano Island, Washington
He was charged with the killing in July, after the murder weapon was found in the trunk of the victim’s stolen car, with his DNA on it
Gonzales was initially classified as ‘John Doe’ because there was no identification on his body
Detectives shared with the public photos of the deceased man’s ‘sheepdog’ and ‘faith’ tattoos to help identify him
Cause death was ruled as drowning, police found no signs of foul play in Gonzales’ death
Tuesday DNA evidence helped identify Jacob Gonzales [L-R], as the John Doe police found floating in a California river in April 2018
The Island County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that the body of 33-year-old Jacob Gonzales was found in the Feather River in northern California in April 2018.
Police in March 2018 found the headless body of Gonzales’ girlfriend, 26-year-old Air Force reservist Katherine Cunningham, on an undeveloped parcel of land near a gun-and-ammo-filled bunker on Camano Island, In Washington state
Last July Jacob Gonzales [left], was charged in the Feb 2018 the murder and decapitation of Airforce reservist Katherine Cunningham [right] in Washington state
A samurai sword with Cunningham’s blood on it was found in the trunk of her stolen Honda Civic [photo] near Yreka, California
Authorities in California had previously released photos of the dead man’s tattoos, including this sheepdog, to try and identify him
Authorities said Gonzales lived with Cunningham in a trailer. He was charged with murder in July after investigators said they found the suspected murder weapon, a blood-stained samurai sword, with his DNA evidence on the hilt.
Court documents say Cunningham likely died on February 14 or 15. Her body was found more than two weeks later by a couple looking to buy the property.
The woman’s remains were stuffed inside a sleeping bag wrapped in a tarp in a red wagon.
Not far from the crime scene, police discovered an underground bunker stocked with rifles and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
Katherine Cunningham [photo], had been living in a trailer on Camano Island, Washington, with Gonzales until Feb 2018 when he beheaded her with a samurai sword and fled their home
The case had investigators in California and Washington comparing notes about the decapitation of the 26-year-old woman on a Puget Sound island in February 2018, the subsequent discovery of a samurai sword with her blood on it in the trunk of her stolen car near Yreka and the eventual identification of suspect Jacob Gonzales, whose body was recovered a year ago in Northern California’s Feather River.
Documents say Gonzales stole Cunningham’s Honda Civic and fled. The car found abandoned in Yreka, California on February 19.
nearly two months later on April 7, the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a body that had been found by a fisherman in the river in Yuba City, California, nearly 800 miles south of Camano Island.
With no identification, the body, which was initially mistaken for that of a woman because it was dressed in female clothing, was classified as a ‘John Doe.’
Gonzales and his girlfriend had been living in a trailer on Camano Island, Washington, until February 2018 when Cunningham was beheaded with a samurai sword.
It was later determined that the John Doe died from drowning, there was no evidence suggesting foul play.
Cops investigating the murder of Katherine Cunningham found this bunker stocked with guns and ammunition [photo], on the vacant property where the couple had once lived
Sutter County appealed to public for help with identification by posting photographs of ‘John Doe’s’ tattoos, including a dog or wolf with a banner that read ‘sheepdog’ and another spelling out the word ‘faith’ in elaborate script.
In November 2018, tips concerning the deceased man’s body art led detectives to believe that ‘John Doe’ was Gonzales.
The anonymous caller said the sheepdog was a popular image among servicemen symbolizing protection, and the letters ‘AF’ etched inside the animal’s ear likely stood for ‘Air Force.
Gonzales and Cunningham had been living in a trailer on Camano Island, Washington, until February 2018 when the woman was beheaded with a samurai sword.
Police found Gonzales’ DNA on the hilt of the sword and issued a warrant for his arrest in connection to his girlfriend’s killing. They said he died from drowning
Gonzales’ body was found nearly 800 miles south of Camano Island, Washington, as this map shows
Authorities issued an arrest warrant for Gonzales in connection to his girlfriend’s killing after he proved a match for DNA on the hilt of the sword. They said he died from drowning a couple of months later
Cunningham’s family members had posted a photo of Gonzales’ sheepdog on the inside of his left forearm on a Facebook page titled ‘Justice 4 Katherine.’
Samples from his body were sent to a DNA laboratory in California for positive identification, which was finally made on Tuesday.
‘My hope was to interrogate him and provide answers to Katherine’s family,’ Island County Sheriff’s Office Detective Ed Wallace told the Redding Record Searchlight of Gonzales. ‘He cheated the family of answers.’