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Thread: Ian Eckles (41) missing from Cle Elum, WA since 5/16/2020

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    Ian Eckles (41) missing from Cle Elum, WA since 5/16/2020

    Law enforcement alongside volunteers are looking for Ian Eckles of Kent, who was last seen May 16.

    Friends say Eckles, 41, was going to meet friends for a hunting trip in the woods near Cle Ellum, but hasn?t been heard from since.

    This missing person?s search took a turn when friends say they saw Eckles' Toyota FJ Cruiser being driven by another man. That unknown man was last seen driving away from law enforcement in Eckles' vehicle.

    According to law enforcement, there is now a search for the missing hunter and a manhunt for the person who may have been driving his car.

    Friends describe Eckles as a family man and a lifelong hunter who had recently become a grandfather. Dan Linn, a friend and family spokesperson, says Eckles planned to solo camp on May 17 and then meet his hunting party the following morning but he never showed up.

    ?It?s also not unusual for him to skip the first morning hunt. Sleep in. So they weren?t concerned yet,? Linn said.

    When he didn?t come back, friends and family knew something was wrong.

    ?Monday when he didn?t show up to work. That?s when we all knew something was really bad.?

    As volunteers and law enforcement were searching for Eckles, Linn says someone saw another man driving Eckles' Toyota FJ Cruiser.

    ?As I was coming up one of our teams was up on the mountain and encountered someone else driving Ian?s truck.?

    ?It goes from switching this whole mentality of, what you?re looking for. It also changes the possible outcomes. So it was kind of devastating,? Linn said.

    The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office is launching a multi-agency search by air and by land, and is asking the public to stay out of the area.

    According to the Kittitas County Sheriff?s Office the suspect is believed to be a Hispanic or Native American male, 20s to mid-30s. He?s described as heavy set, with a chubby face, round nose, and short cropped black hair.

    If you have any information you are asked to contact investigators Sheriff Clay Myers, 509-925-8534 or by email at

  2. #2
    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    This article says the suspect has been located but is not in custody.

    A suspect believed to have been involved in the case of a missing Kent man that hasn't been found in over a week was located Tuesday after a manhunt, according to the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office.

    Investigators believe they found the suspect in connection to Ian Eckles' disappearance, but he is not in custody. The suspect was likely located when authorities conducted a manhunt in the area of SR97 near Liberty.
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    The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office says the potentially dangerous man deputies have been searching for in the Blewett Pass area has been identified.

    The Sheriff's Office says they believe 34-year-old Jorge O. Alcantara-Gonzalez is the person last seen driving the car of a missing Kent man.

    YCSO says Alcantara-Gonzalez may have been connected to several burglaries and thefts in the Blewett Pass-Mineral Springs area.

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    The subject of a 23-day manhunt in Kittitas County is being held in jail on $3 million bail, accused of murdering missing Kent resident Ian Eckles, among more than 20 other charges.

    Jorge Alcantara-Gonzalez, 34, is facing 23 charges in Kittitas County Superior Court, including second-degree murder and multiple counts of possession of a stolen vehicle, theft of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, burglary, theft, possession of another person’s identification, altering firearm identification marks and identity theft, according to court records.

    Data from Eckles’ cellphone put him in the Cle Elum area on May 16 and surveillance video showed him making a purchase at a gas station. The last known location of his phone came the same day near the intersection of Highway 970 and Highway 10.

    On May 23, Eckles’ friends reported spotting his vehicle on Forest Service Road 9738. They told deputies an unknown male was driving the SUV. The friends attempted to get the driver to stop but he reportedly evaded them, according to police reports.

    Deputies did locate a stolen Ford Expedition out of King County, at the time believed to be unrelated in the search for Eckles. The SUV was tucked into the woods, nearly completely hidden from the road. As deputies approached the vehicle, Eckles’ SUV was also found hidden in the trees.

    Moments later, a Hispanic male emerged from near one of the vehicles and fled downhill, escaping from law enforcement. Both vehicles were impounded.

    Investigators say the Ford Expedition matched the description of an SUV involved in two burglaries in Kittitas County in April. Among the recovered items from the SUV included firearms, a bow and arrow, tools, trail cameras, ammunition, food and flashlights, as well as a WDFW parking pass registered to Eckles and the keys to Eckles’ FJ Cruiser.

    Deputies also found stolen rafts in the area where the SUV was found, according to court records.

    Investigators later learned the Ford SUV had been stolen from a King County home where the owner of the SUV was found dead on May 11. Investigators say the owner had likely been dead for at least six weeks based on the state of decomposition. Because there were no obvious signs of trauma, no autopsy was performed and the woman was later cremated.

    Inside Eckles’ SUV, investigators reportedly found a wallet containing Alcantara-Gonzalez’s driver’s license, as well as Eckels’ wallet, which included his driver’s license and credit and debit cards. Investigators reported a number of blood stains in Eckles’ vehicle, including blood spatter on the inside of the roof.

    Bullet defects were also found inside and outside the vehicle.

    “Further searching of this area appears that the bullet defect was at an angle going toward the rear of the vehicle suggesting that someone from inside the vehicle shot in a direction going out the rear of the vehicle but the bullet struck the roof of the headliner,” investigators wrote. “A second bullet defect was found going the opposite direction and suggests that it was fired from outside the vehicle going into the rear of the vehicle and possibly shattering the glass of the rear window. The broken glass was found throughout the vehicle.”

    On May 25, while investigators were searching the two vehicles, Alcantara-Gonzalez was spotted in the area of the Mineral Springs Campground carrying a shotgun. The suspect reportedly began running and threw the shotgun to the ground. An extensive ground and air search, which included K9’s, was conducted with no success.

    The shotgun recovered, although it had been altered, matched the shotgun known to be in Eckles’ vehicle prior to him going missing, according to investigators.

    During the search near the campground, a camp was found in the woods consisting of a sleeping bag, tarp and pillow, along with food and drink garbage matching items stolen during a break-in at the Mineral Springs Store. Bloody bandages were also found, reportedly consistent with Alcantara-Gonzalez cutting himself on broken glass during the store burglary.

    On June 14 — 23 days into the manhunt — Alcantara-Gonzalez was reportedly stopped by a resident in the Teanaway area. The suspect was reportedly inside a home and surrendered when law enforcement arrived.

    Alcantara-Gonzalez’s brother told investigators that Alcantara-Gonzalez is adept at getting around and living in the woods and had a number of hiding places and supply stashes.

    Law enforcement continues to search for Eckles’ body. Investigators say based on the blood, ballistic and forensic evidence recovered from Eckles’ SUV, “it is likely that Eckles is deceased and was the victim of foul play,” with Alcantara-Gonzalez responsible, according to court records.

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