The blood-drenched items were discovered Aug. 13 along Peasley Canyon Road on Wednesday afternoon by a federal agent who spotted a man trying to burn them. The man then fled the scene in a dark SUV and got away.
Cmdr. Mike Hirman of the Auburn police says the blood found on the flooring, carpeting, clothing and towels was fresh and indicates a probable homicide. But where that homicide was committed remains an elusive mystery so far.
"The body is somewhere," Hirman said Friday. "The fruits of the crime, if you will, were dumped here in Auburn. And so we need to find out who this person's associates are, we need to find where he was staying, where he was living and then we can go from there."
He said police received the results of the DNA testing on Wednesday but haven't been able to learn much about Zomalt, except that he listed his most recent address as Puyallup
"We have been searching, but we're not getting a lot of luck so that's why we thought we would release his picture and his name, with hopes of getting some calls from the public," Hirman said.
He said no one has reported Zomalt missing.
Records show that Zomalt has 11 arrests on his criminal record, for harassment, reckless driving, obstruction of a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and negligent driving.
The police investigation into the mysterious case began Aug. 13 when a uniformed off-duty federal agent driving along Peasley Canyon Road in a marked Department of Homeland Security vehicle spotted smoke coming from a brushy area about 15 feet off the roadway.
The officer pulled over and walked toward the fire with an extinguisher, then spotted a man standing beside a dark SUV near the fire. When the man saw the federal agent, he jumped in the SUV and fled the scene. The agent attempted to follow the man but he got away.
When the officer returned to the smoky fire, he made a disturbing discovery - the man had been burning flooring material, carpeting, clothing and towels that were covered with blood.
Police cordoned off the area and closed the roadway for nearly 24 hours while they collected evidence at the scene. Blood samples were sent to the Washington State Patrol crime lab, and that's where the Zomalt was identified through DNA testing.
Hirman said Auburn police would like to hear from anyone who knows anything about Zomalt
"Anybody who knows him, we'd like a call," he said. "Anybody who knows who he associates with or who knows where he was staying, we would sure like to know that, and we have a tip line of 253-288-7403 for anyone to call with information about Mr. Zomalt."