A Marine veteran who was one of many US Marshals’ most-sought fugitives was busted in El Salvador this week after greater than six years on the run.
Raymond “RJ” McLeod, 36, is believed to have fled the US instantly after his new girlfriend Krystal Mitchell, 30, was discovered overwhelmed to demise whereas the pair visited pals in San Diego, Calif., in June 2016.
Final 12 months, the Marshals Service intensified the hunt — making him the first-ever fugitive on its “15 Most Wanted” list with a $50,000 reward.
“McLeod poses a big menace to the general public and should be dropped at justice,” the marshals’ then-director, Donald Washington, stated on the time.
His wanted poster described him as a 5-foot-11, 245-pound “avid bodybuilder and a heavy drinker” with “a historical past of home violence,” warning he was probably armed and harmful.
The murdered girl’s mom, former detective Josephine Wentzel, got here out of retirement to hitch the hunt as McLeod was traced touring by way of Mexico and components of Central America.
McLeod was traced to Guatemala in 2017 after which Belize the following 12 months, however all the time stored one step forward of the search groups.
A tip lastly traced him to a college in Sonsonate, about 40 miles west of El Salvador’s capital, the place McLeod was instructing English, a spokesperson confirmed to The Publish.
The tipster is doubtlessly eligible to gather the $50,000 reward, the spokesperson stated.
Deputy Marshals Francisco Barajas and Luis Ramirez flew right down to El Salvador to help native and nationwide police arrest him Monday afternoon, officials told Fox News. The pair are bringing him again to the US, Fox Information stated.
“WHAT A GREAT DAY!!!!” Mitchell’s mom, Wentzel, wrote on Fb Monday, whereas praising the Marshals’ “glorious work.”
“I’ve had religion and belief in them, and ever since assembly Francisco Barajas, I had full confidence that this present day would come, and he could be the one to catch him,” she informed Fox Information.
“I informed him, ‘You’re my hero. We’re bonded for all times.’”
It was a victory for the service, which had vowed to “go away no stone unturned till he is delivered to justice.”
“The passage of time won’t ever deter the Marshals’ fugitive investigation for McLeod,” Marshal Steve Stafford stated final 12 months.
“If something, it fuels our willpower.”