Man found dead in remote area of Mason County

Man found dead in remote area of Mason County »Play Video
The killed man's wife is seen grieving near the scene of his death.
SHELTON, Wash. -- Sheriff's deputies say they are searching for a killer after a man was found dead in a wooded area near here Wednesday morning in what they believe may have been a hunting accident.

Mason County Sheriff Chief Criminal Deputy Dean Byrd said deputies were called about 10 a.m. and found a man's body about eight miles northwest of Shelton on California Road off Highway 101.

The body has been identified 25-year-old Carlos Pablo Carrillo. He died from a gunshot to the head, according to the sheriff's office.

"Initially what it looks like possibly is a tragic hunting accident," said Byrd.

Family members said the Guatamalan native was gathering salal - sturdy green branches that are used to dress up flower arrangements around the world - to sell to nurseries. The heavy demand for the crop has brought in hundreds of migrant workers who are willing to head into the forests everyday.

Another brush picker told investigators there were two people in camouflage who took off after the shooting.

"We'd just like to appeal to them to please contact us, because as a tragic hunting accident, the family of this individual really needs to have some closure," said Byrd.

Detectives are questioning a witnesses and are speaking with the victim's family, Byrd said. They have not identified a suspect.

The victim's wife, Marta, could barely be consoled as she held her 2-year-old daughter, Hela Lorena. She talked to KOMO News with the help of an interpreter.

"She said she didn't know who was responsible," said the interpreter. "And he was a good man. She said he was a lovely father and she doesn't have enemies. He doesn't have enemies."

Though detectives believe Carrillo's death was accidental, they’re also exploring more malicious possibilities. They said due to the lucrative nature of salal harvesting, they're investigating the possibility of a turf war.