Fugitive arrested in Central Washington for murder of Kent man

Ian Eckles, 41, went missing in May

After a 23-day manhunt in Central Washington, Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office deputies on Sunday arrested a man on a warrant for the murder of a 41-year-old Kent man.

Deputies arrested Jorge Alcantara-Gonzalez on Sunday afternoon in the Teanaway area after a local resident was walking in his neighborhood when he saw someone inside the house of a neighbor that looked like the suspect and called 911. Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office and officers from the US Forest Service and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife surrounded the home and called Alcantara out. He complied with their orders and warnings and was taken into custody without incident, according to a Facebook post by the Sheriff’s Office.

Alcantara-Gonzalez is suspected of killing Ian Eckles, a hunter who disappeared near the town of Liberty on or around May 17. He is also wanted for numerous other crimes including multiple burglaries, thefts and possession of stolen vehicles. Alcantara was known to be armed and dangerous and was intimately familiar with the environment in which he was hiding. Nearby residents were warned about the situation and extra patrols were conducted around the clock in the surrounding areas.

Incident commanders for the manhunt relied on evidence found by search teams that Alcantara remained in the area despite intense pressure. They utilized the extensive closure of public lands, continued on-the-ground searches, and other tactics to force Alcantara to make himself more vulnerable in his search for necessary resources.

The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office thanked the alert resident who called in his observations and the many other people who have called with information and assistance in this investigation.

“The arrest of Jorge Alcantara concludes an uncertain and dangerous time for our county, especially for residents of the affected area,” Sheriff Clay Myers said. “We are deeply grateful for the assistance of the residents of the Liberty and Teanaway areas, who have been constantly supportive throughout this time. We can now turn our attention to the successful prosecution of the crimes this suspect has committed and, most urgently, to finding and recovering the body of Ian Eckles and giving his family peace.”