US Marshals Capture Most Wanted Fugitive

Retired detective worked to find daughter's alleged killer
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2022 5:33 PM CDT
Retired Detective Worked to Find Daughter's Alleged Killer
Marshals flank McLeod after his arrest Monday.   (US Marshals Service)

Former Guam Police Detective Josephine Wentzel changed career when she moved to California decades ago—but she came out of retirement after her daughter was murdered in 2016, and the alleged killer has now been caught. The US Marshals Service says Raymond "RJ" McLeod, a former Marine who had been on the run since Krystal Mitchell was murdered in San Diego, was arrested Monday in El Salvador by marshals and Salvadoran authorities, Fox reports.

McLeod was on the US Marshals Top 15 Most Wanted List, where he was described as an "avid bodybuilder and a heavy drinker" with a history of domestic violence. The body of Mitchell, a 30-year-old mother of two, was found in a San Diego apartment in June 2016. She had been beaten and strangled to death. McLeod and Mitchell, who had been dating for just three weeks, were visiting the city from Phoenix. Wentzel told the Guam Daily Post last year that McLeod fled to Mexico and then Belize after the murder. Wentzel, who is raising her daughter's two children, said she had followed up reported sightings in countries including Guatemala and Honduras.

Authorities say McLeod was captured after they received a tip that he was teaching English in Sonsonate, around 40 miles west of San Salvador. "This defendant’s brazen attempt to evade justice is over and the work to hold him accountable in a court of law for the murder of Krystal Mitchell can now begin," said San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan, per NBC San Diego. "Huge credit goes to the victim’s mother who never gave up searching for her daughter’s killer and worked closely with our office and other law enforcement to make this arrest possible." (More US Marshals Service stories.)

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