CLE ELUM, Wash. — An arrest warrant has been issued for Jorge Alcantara-Gonzalez, 34, who authorities now suspect of killing 41-year-old Ian Eckles of Kent.
Eckles was reported missing on May 18 and has still not been found. The following Saturday, a volunteer searcher reported seeing someone else driving the missing man's car.
Kittitas County Sheriff Clay Myers says forensic and circumstantial evidence was found in Eckles Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV, leading investigators to believe Eckles was a victim of a homicide.
That car was abandoned next to another vehicle, which is how investigators connected Alcantara-Gonzalez to the case. In the days that followed, investigators say they connected Alcantara-Gonzalez to a break-in at a convenience store.
Law enforcement say that on Tuesday, the man came face to face with one of their officers. According to law enforcement, Alcantara-Gonzalez dropped a shotgun he was holding and escaped back into the woods.
Days later, the search continues west of Highway 97 in the Mineral Springs area, about halfway between Cle Elum and Blewett Pass.
Sheriff Myers says the search area is sealed off while the search continues, but Highway 97 remains open.
Alcantara-Gonzalez is also wanted in connection with other burglaries, stolen vehicles and thefts, law enforcement said.
Multiple agencies, including the FBI and Immigration Customs Enforcement, are looking for the suspect.
Another car was also found along with Eckles SUV, belonging to a Fall City woman in her 80s, according to King County Sheriff's office spokesman Ryan Abbott.
That woman was found dead in her home, but it’s not clear if she was the victim of a homicide. The King County Major Crimes Unit continues to investigate that incident.