A former US Marine implicated in the 2016 murder of Crystal Mitchell in California has been arrested by US Marshals in El Salvador after fleeing El Salvador and hiding in Central America for years. .
Raymond “RJ” McLeod was arrested around 4:30 pm on Monday. This is because the United States Marshals Service (USMS) and El Salvadoran authorities received information that he was teaching English at a school in Sonsonate, a community of 71,000 people 20 miles from the Pacific coast. later. Fox News reported.
In April 2021, MacLeod was added to the Top 15 Most Wanted Fugitives and was deemed so dangerous by the USMS that it offered a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading directly to his arrest. did.
“McLeod will be the first Fugitive on the 15 Most Wanted List in history, with an initial reward of up to $50,000,” said USMS Director Donald Washington. statement at the time. “MacLeod poses a grave threat to the public and must be brought to justice.”
The rewards offered are quite significant as they are double the usual. Most of the fugitives on the list have a $25,000 bounty.
MacLeod’s search retired only to help track down the murder suspect with the help of the victim’s mother, a veteran detective named Josephine Wenzel.
“I’ve trusted them. Ever since I met Francisca Barajas, I was completely convinced that this day would come and that he would get him,” said Barajas. was a colleague of hers in the search, working under regional USMS task force chief Frankie Sanchez.
Wenzel praised Sanchez and Barajas for their “great job” and said they were “bonded for life” after years of working together to solve their daughter’s murder.
On June 10, 2016, San Diego authorities responded to a 911 call involving a woman later identified as 30-year-old Krystal Mitchell. Mitchell was pronounced dead by doctors at the scene.
Investigations yielded information that Mitchell was last seen with boyfriend MacLeod and determined that there were “signs of struggle” at the scene. The couple traveled to San Diego to visit friends, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
Police have confirmed that Mitchell died after being strangled after visiting a San Diego bar with her boyfriend. There MacLeod got into an argument with a man. A couple and an unidentified man were kicked out of the bar. MacLeod and Mitchell return to their rented apartment, and Mitchell is found dead by local police the next day.
The San Diego District Attorney’s Office charged McLeod with murder and issued an arrest warrant. USMS said it believed McLeod fled the United States via Mexico and traveled further to Central America after Mitchell’s death.
In 2017, officials obtained information that McLeod was found in Guatemala and a year later in Belize.
USMS member Steve Stafford said in 2021, five years after Mitchell’s body was found, federal agents would never stop searching for McLeod until he was arrested.
“The passage of time will never deter the Marshal from investigating MacLeod’s escape,” Stafford said. “If anything, it boosts our resolve. We will do everything in our power to bring him to justice.”
from NTD News