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Updated Aug 11, 2014 - 9:53 pm

Coast Guardsman sought in Wash. death found dead in Ariz.

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A Coast Guardsman identified as a suspect in the
slaying of a 59-year-old Washington state woman has been found dead in an
apparent suicide in a remote area near Show Low, Arizona, authorities said

The U.S. Marshals Service said deputy marshals located Michael G. Arnold, 33,
of Boise, Idaho, on Saturday at a family-owned Arizona cabin. Arnold had hanged
himself, Deputy U.S. Marshal Frederick Freeman of Phoenix said in a statement.
Deputy marshals saw what appeared to be messages spray-painted on the cabin’s
exterior walls asking for forgiveness, Freeman added.

Police in the northwest Washington city of Bellingham said they questioned
Arnold last week in the Aug. 3 death of Abigail Gulotta. Her body was found in
her apartment by a co-worker when she didn’t show up at her job as a hairdresser
at a Bellingham-area salon.

Gulotta was found dead from massive head trauma, the Bellingham Herald

Witnesses told police they saw Gulotta having drinks with several Coast
Guardsmen late on Saturday, Aug. 2, at several bars, police Lt. Rick Sucee told
the newspaper. The description of the person last seen with Gulotta early on
Aug. 3 matched one Coast Guardsman in particular.

By Aug. 6, when Arnold was brought in for questioning, Bellingham police said
they considered him a “person of interest” in the death.

After several hours of questioning, detectives had insufficient evidence to
arrest Arnold, “mainly due to forensic evidence that could not be processed in
time” but his statements “made him a stronger suspect,” Sucee said.

Arnold was taken to a Coast Guard base in Seattle but authorities say he
drained his bank account and vanished. The Coast Guard immediately sought him on
an absent without leave warrant and asked for help from the Marshals Service in
locating him.

Arnold’s Coast Guard cutter had been docked in the Bellingham area for
maintenance. The cutter Sherman is based in San Diego, California.


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