'Confident and Independent' Ore. Mom Is Found Slain in Park, Manhunt on for Boyfriend Suspect

Jose Antonio Caraballo, 43, is wanted in connection with the death of his girlfriend, 27-year-old Kathryn Muhlbach

Kathryn Muhlbach, Jose Carabello
Photo: Portland Police Bureau

A manhunt is underway for a man suspected of killing his girlfriend in Portland, Ore., and then fleeing the area.

Jose Antonio Caraballo, 43, is wanted on a murder charge in connection with the death of his girlfriend, Kathryn Muhlbach, 27, according to a statement issued by Portland police. The body of Muhlbach, a mother of two, was found dumped in a local park on Friday, Dec 9.

The medical examiner said her death was a result of "homicidal violence," per Oregon Live, though police have not yet revealed exactly how she died.

A nationwide arrest warrant has been issued for Caraballo. He is suspected of "second-degree murder constituting domestic violence," according to the police statement.

On Friday around 3:15 pm, police responded to a call regarding "suspicious circumstances" after a body — subsequently identified as Muhlbach's — was found in Powell Butte Nature Park in Southeast Portland.

Caraballo's truck was later found on the side of the road along the I-5 near the Oregon and California border, per 10 News.

Muhlbach, a native of Ramona, Calif., moved to Portland with Caraballo a few years ago, per 10 News, where they owned a moving and storage company together.

Her sister, Jen Keller, told the outlet her family was horrified to learn of Muhlbach's tragic death. However, Keller said she'd been worried about Muhlbach recently because she'd heard Caraballo was allegedly "being abusive to her," per 10 News.

Keller described her sister as "sassy cowgirl, confident and independent."

Muhlbach had two kids: a 4-year-old and an 8-month old, and a GoFundMe campaign has been launched for the family's funeral expenses.

PEOPLE reached out to the Portland police but did not receive an immediate response.

Caraballo is believed to have connections in California, Mexico and Oregon.

Anyone with information regarding Caraballo's whereabouts should call 911 immediately. Anonymous tips can also be submitted at www.crimestoppersoforegon.com.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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