The search continued Wednesday in Kittitas County for a 41-year-old Kent man missing since May 16 after he headed to meet friends in Central Washington near Liberty for a turkey hunt but never showed up.
The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office, which is leading the search, reported on Tuesday, May 26, that it had recovered on May 23 a grey Toyota FJ Cruiser that belongs to Ian Eckles, the missing man.
Deputies also are looking for a suspect possibly connected with the missing man in the US 97-Blewett Pass area.
Jorge O. Alcantara-Gonzalez, 34, has been evading law enforcement since Saturday, May 23. He was last seen fleeing on foot in the Mineral Springs Campground and was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and khaki pants.
Alcantara-Gonzalez is wanted in connection with a missing person (Eckles), stolen vehicles and multiple burglaries and thefts in Kittitas County, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He is possibly armed. He may also be in possession of a red MSR brand ‘Hubba Hubba’ model dome-style tent with red poles and a light grey rainfly.
A manhunt last weekend failed to capture Alcantara-Gonzalez, allegedly involved in burglaries in the First Creek area south of Liberty on or around April 3.
Alcantara-Gonzalez reportedly stole the Toyota Cruiser that belonged to Eckles and another vehicle that had been stolen from Fall City, according to a Sheriff’s Office press release. Both vehicles were impounded and are being searched for evidence.
Alcantara-Gonzalez is about 5 feet, 8 inches tall with short cropped black hair. He has a round or bulbous nose and scarring or pockmarks on his face.
Sheriff’s Office officials continue to work with other local, state and federal agencies in the search. Anyone traveling through the US 97-Blewett Pass-Mineral Springs area should expect to see increased police activity. The public is reminded to not pick up any hitchhikers in the area, and immediately report any suspicious persons or activity to Kittcom at 509-925-8534 or dial 911.
According to Facebook posts by Missing People in America, Eckles was seen around 2 p.m. May 16 in the Kent area and at about 6 p.m. May 16 at a 76 gas station in Cle Elum to get beer and snacks.