A missing Kent man allegedly was killed by a fugitive that law authorities continue to search for in Central Washington.
Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Jorge Alcantara-Gonzalez, the subject of a extensive manhunt in the Mineral Springs area of Kittitas County. Alcantara-Gonzalez is charged with the suspected killing of Ian Eckles, 41, along with possession of two stolen vehicles and numerous other thefts and burglaries in Kittitas County, including the theft of firearms, according to a Friday, May 29, press release from the Sheriff’s Office.
The warrant arose from the ongoing investigation into Eckles’ disappearance. Forensic and circumstantial evidence found in Eckles’ vehicle leads law enforcement to believe Eckles was a victim of homicide, according to the press release. Alcantara-Gonzalez reportedly stole Eckles’ vehicle.
The Sheriff’s Office continues to lead the investigation into Eckles’ whereabouts with the assistance and resources of many other local, state and federal agencies. It is believed that Alcantara-Gonzalez remains in the forested, mountainous area around Mineral Springs.
During the coming days, including this weekend, the Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the US Forrest Service and cooperating agencies will continue to pursue this armed and dangerous man, according to the press release.
Multiple US Forest Service Roads in the area will be closed, including all roads off State Route 97 between Liberty Road and Forest Service Road 9714 or Iron Creek and access points to this area from the Teanaway ridge.
The Sheriff’s Office asks that everyone stay clear of this area for their safety, the safety of law enforcement officers and the success of this important investigation.
Sheriff Clay Myers voiced his concern for the safety of the Liberty area residents.
“Our investigation into this suspect has confirmed he has a willingness and the ability to kill,” Myers said in the press release. ‘We will continue to utilize all available resources to end this threat.”
Eckles went missing May 16 when he failed to show up to meet friends to go turkey hunting. He was last seen at a gas station in Cle Elum on his way to the gathering near Liberty.