Suspect accused of killing neighbor arrested

By on Monday, April 25th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

KENNEWICK — The Benton County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday it has arrested Hector Munguia, 18, in the death of Zale Underwood, 70, of Kennewick. Munguia was arrested after his mother brought him to the BCSO office who wanted to speak to detectives in reference to a homicide.

Detectives interviewed him and determined he lives near Underwood’s residence. Based on the interview, other evidence on the case and after consultation with the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office, Munguia was arrested for first-degree murder.

“There is no indication there are any additional suspects at large,” BCSO Lt. Jason Erickson said in a news release. “It is believed that Hector Munguia acted alone.”

Shortly before 5 p.m. Friday, deputies responded to Underwood’s home on the 1100 block of South Gum Street in Kennewick to reports of an assault in progress. No suspects were located. The preliminary investigation led investigators to believe an interaction occurred which resulted in Underwood’s death. It appears Underwood was stabbed, but an autopsy will be conducted at a later date to determine the cause of death.