U.S. Coast Guardsman sought in Bellingham murder found dead in Arizona

ALAMEDA, Calif. – A Coast Guardsman being sought as a person of interest in the murder of a 59-year-old woman in Bellingham, Wash., was found dead from an apparent suicide in Show Low, Ariz., Sunday, the Coast Guard announced Monday.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael G. Arnold, 33, of Boise, Idaho, was located by a joint-law enforcement team after he was reported absent without leave from Coast Guard Base Seattle Friday, a Coast Guard news release said.

He was a person of interest in the death of Abigail Gulotta, of Bellingham. One of Gulotta's co-workers found Gulotta dead in her basement apartment when she didn't show up for work on Aug. 3. Her death  has been ruled a homicide.

Arnold was being pursued by law enforcement officials from the Bellingham Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service and the Coast Guard Investigative Service, the Coast Guard said.

Arnold was stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Sherman in San Diego but was temporarily assigned to Base Seattle pending the outcome of the investigation.

The suspect was reported absent without leave and a multi-agency manhunt began Friday.

Deputy Marshals, agents from the Coast Guard and detectives with the Bellingham Police Department tracked the guardsman to a home in Show Low where they found him dead, the Coast Guard said.

The Bellingham Police Department is conducting an investigation into the woman’s death.

Arnold joined the Coast Guard Jan 5, 2009. He was currently serving aboard the Cutter Sherman as a gunner’s mate.