Pierce County prosecutors have charged a drifter in the June stabbing death of a Spanaway man.
Robert Dalton Tucksen, 39, is charged with a single count of second-degree murder in the homicide of Zachariah Wright, 21.
A nationwide warrant has been issued for Tucksen’s arrest. Authorities say he has survivalist skills and may be hiding in an “underground encampment” in the forest near Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
He was last seen July 11 near Elk Plain.
Wright was stabbed to death inside a house in the 300 block of Field Road East. Firefighters discovered his body June 13 when they responded to a fire at the home.
Detectives said early in the investigation that Tucksen was a person of interest
in the case. They elevated him to prime suspect after another man recently told them he witnessed the killing, according to court papers filed Thursday.
The man said Tucksen and Wright argued over whether Wright was sleeping with Tucksen’s girlfriend, court records show. At one point, the argument turned into a fight, the man said, and Wright knocked Tucksen to the ground.
“With Wright kneeling over him, Tucksen began struggle with Wright,” according to court records. “Wright backed away and his hand was covered with blood.”
The witness said he then saw a knife in Tucksen’s hand. Wright retreated, the man told detectives.
Tucksen pursued Wright and stabbed him in the chest, knocking him to the ground, then stabbed him multiple times as he lay on the floor, the witness reported.
Detectives said they were able to corroborate the witness’ statements and that the “condition and location” of Wright’s body was consistent with the man’s accounts, court records show.
Tucksen was questioned in June 2005 after his then 2-year-old son was found abandoned with a cheeseburger and cup of water at a Parkland church. Tucksen said that he and his girlfriend, Pamela Kuich, had fought a few days before and she had left with their son.
Kuich has not been seen since then. Tucksen was not charged with a crime in that case.