18-Year-Old Suspected of Killing 70-Year-Old Neighbor Mowing the Lawn in Eastern Washington


An 18-year-old Kennewick man turned himself in to sheriff's officials Monday morning in connection a deadly confrontation Friday.

Hector Munguia was booked into the Benton County jail on a 72-hour investigative hold for first-degree murder after being questioned by Benton County investigators, Sheriff Tom Croskrey said during a news conference Monday afternoon.

Munguia is suspected in the apparent fatal stabbing of Zale Underwood, 70, on Friday evening.

Munguia's expected appear in Benton County Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon.

His mother convinced him to come in to talk with authorities, Croskrey said.

Underwood was mowing his lawn when the two had a confrontation. Police don't believe the two men knew each other, but they lived on the same block.

Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller said at the news conference that it was not an appropriate time to discuss the possible motive for the attack. Though Croskrey said it's believed Munguia acted alone.

On Friday evening, one of Underwood's family members told 911 dispatchers that Underwood was bleeding heavily, and to get medical personnel there quickly, according to dispatch reports at the time.

By the time police arrived, Underwood had died from an apparent stab wound, and the suspect had fled.

Benton County deputies and Kennewick police officers surrounded the area and began searching. An attempt to track the man using a police dog failed.

Underwood's family was displaced on Friday while police investigated the crime, Croskrey said, and the Benton County Sheriff's Office Foundation is paying for a hotel for them.

Underwood had lived in the Gum Street home for most of his life, according to public records.

Underwood's parents, Zane and Vione, moved to the South Gum Street neighborhood in the early '60s.

It's unclear what other family members still lived in the neighborhood.