Where is fugitive Kino Gomez, and is he dead or alive? "They're looking everywhere, but there's no sign of him," says Twisp Police spokesperson Vicki Hallowell, whose department is the lead agency in the hunt for the former King County road engineer accused of the July 17 murder of Seattle music producer and sound engineer Tom Pfaeffle, who had mistakenly tried to enter Gomez's motel room in Twisp, Okanogan County. King County sheriff's spokesperson John Urquhart today says he has nothing new to report as well. Gomez, a Beacon Hill resident, has been on the lam since early September after sending his relatives what appeared to be a suicide note, claiming he was off to the mountains to kill himself and - feeling he'd already been publicly judged guilty - to "deprive society of the circus it so bloody craves." Gomez indicated he was on a "one-way trip" and his demise would be "quick and painless." But a month later, there's been no discovery of a body or a related abandoned vehicle.
Authorities are trying to determine if he instead left the country, possibly for his native Philippines, where he was born as Miguel Esquerra; he changed his name in the U.S. in the 1980s, when he was a state employee and known to carry a gun to work in his lunchbox. Says a former state co-worker: "Since the Twisp happening, I have been in contact with people that Miguel had hunted with...One did share that some incident in the past gave Miguel concerns for his personal safety. The fellow said that the matter was something from a political situation going back to the Philippines. One person also said that he did expect Miguel may be in trouble in the future due to his paranoia and carrying handguns at all times."