The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office arrested two suspects Wednesday in the death of 18-year-old Dakota Walker, who was found shot to death in Capitol State Forest on Oct. 20.
Vincent “Vince” L. Garlock, 29, and Jonathan Ackerman, 31, are being held in the Thurston County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder. Ackerman also operated under several aliases, including Jonathan Bartosek, David Capron and Joey Caprone. According to court documents, prosecutors believe that his real name is Jonathan Ackerman.
Garlock appeared before Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon on Thursday, and the judge found probable cause for an aggravated first-degree murder charge. Dixon didn’t set bail because Garlock is being held on suspicion of a capital offense.
The aggravating factor in this case is that the suspects are believed to have transported Walker to Capitol Forest in order to kill him, Deputy Prosecutor Mark Thompson said.
Public Defender Christian Cabrera said that Ackerman had refused to appear in court. Dixon signed an order requiring Ackerman to appear in court Friday, and that he should be “brought to court by any reasonable means necessary.” Dixon found probable cause to charge Ackerman with aggravated first-degree murder.
During a Thursday morning news conference, Undersheriff Tim Braniff said the two men were arrested after members of the public called and reported information.
The two suspects and the victim arrived in Thurston County in August and had been engaged in criminal activity, including burglaries and identity theft, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
According to court documents, Ackerman was charged in August with three counts of forgery, one count of first-degree identity theft, one count of second-degree identity theft, one count of theft of a motor vehicle, and one count of second-degree possession of stolen property. When he failed to appear in court, he was charged with one count of bail jumping. In this case, he was charged under the name Jonathan J. Bartosek.
Sgt. Cameron Simper said that Walker had been engaged in a “domestic relationship” with Ackerman.
Simper said the three men met in Ohio and traveled to Thurston County together. Investigators believe that the victim was planning to report the suspects’ criminal activity to law enforcement. Walker hadn’t reported the alleged crimes, but investigators found documentation of the burglaries and identity theft among his possessions, Simper said.
“It appears that the young victim was sick of the lifestyle,” Simper said.
He said detectives believe Walker was killed by the suspects to keep him quiet about the property crimes.
During questioning, both suspects allegedly admitted to being present during Walker’s death, but they pointed fingers at each other. Walker died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Coroner’s Office. Investigators believe that Walker was lured to the forest and shot there, Simper said.
The men were arrested near the Boulevard Animal Clinic in Olympia, although they had no involvement with the business. Simper said a law enforcement officer spotted one of the suspects’ cars near the clinic and arrested him. The second suspect was lured to the area and also arrested.
“Both men were arrested without incident,” Simper said.
The suspects were identified and arrested with the help of the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force, the Olympia Police Department, the Coroner’s Office and Thurston County residents, according to the Sheriff’s Office.