Man accused of beheading woman with a samurai sword may be hiding in Merced County, authorities say

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Officials are searching the North Valley for a suspect charged in the murder of a valley native in Washington State this past February.

Sheriff's deputies say 33-year-old Jacob Gonzales is the prime suspect in connection to the beheading of Katherine Cunningham who is from Atwater.

Authorities found Gonzales' DNA on a samurai sword that they believe he used to kill Cunningham. Court filings show that after killing the victim, Gonzales stole her vehicle and fled the state. The car was later found abandoned in Yreka with the bloody samurai sword in the back.

Officials now believe Gonzales may now be hiding out in Merced County. A $1 million nationwide warrant has been issued for his arrest.
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