A Los Banos man on Friday was charged with murder in connection with the grisly slaying of an Atwater woman.
Investigators say DNA evidence found on a "samurai sword" belonged to the victim and the suspect.
Jacob Gonzales, a 33-year-old Los Banos native, was originally charged with firearms and vehicle theft after 26-year-old Katherine Cunningham's body was found dead March 3 on Camano Island, a remote area in Washington, according to a news release by Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks.
Detectives discovered a bunker dug into a hillside near where Cunningham was found, investigators have said. Inside the bunker were a cache of supplies, ammunition and firearms.
Gonzales has been missing since Cunningham was found dead. Authorities issued a $1 million nationwide warrant for Gonzales' arrest, the release states. Gonzales is described as a Hispanic male who is 5'9" tall, 150 pounds and has black hair and hazel eyes. He is considered to be armed.
During the investigation, a samurai sword was recovered from the trunk of Cunningham's stolen car, which was found abandoned near Yreka just south of the California-Oregon border, according to the release.
A DNA and biological test on the sword was completed Wednesday and concluded Cunningham's blood was on the blade of the sword, the release states. Gonzales' DNA was reportedly on the hilt of the sword.
Cunningham's family is doing OK, said Cunningham's sister, Emma Cunningham.
"But we still don't have the answers, that's what holding us here," Emma Cunningham said. "What led to this happening? We still can't find Jacob."
Emma Cunningham said her family has been sharing information on social media and putting up posters locally about Gonzales. They believe Gonzales may be hiding in the San Joaquin Valley area.
But the DNA results has helped the family get more information out about Gonzales.
"This is pretty much what everybody has been waiting for, (for authorities) to come out with this information (and charge him with murder,)" Emma Cunningham said, adding that the family knew about the sword but couldn't release more information to the public until the DNA results were done.
"Jacob was officially named a suspect," Emma Cunningham said. "I'm contacting everybody I can to get his face up everywhere."
Anyone with information on Gonzales's whereabouts or about the homicide are urged to contact local police, Island County Detective Ed wallace at 360-679-9567 or email email@example.com.