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Bodybuilding ex-Marine, 36, on US Marshals Most Wanted list said he is “Jack Donovan” from Canada

A former Marine wanted for the murder of his girlfriend spent six years on the run in Latin America and living in El Salvador under the alias “Jack Donovan,” it was revealed Tuesday.

Raymond “RJ” McLeod, 36, was found Monday teaching English in the 71,000-person town of Sonsonate, 20 miles inland from the Pacific coast.

Considered so dangerous that U.S. Marshals put the highest-ever bounty on his head, he was tracked down after a woman saw a Spanish-language Univision special on his case and recognized him as a teacher in town.

McLeod told people he was Canadian and used the wrong name, Univision reported. He was arrested in front of his class full of students at Direct English School in Sonsonate on Monday.

An administrator at another nearby school said it was common practice for staff identities to go unchecked.

“They hire teachers and they don’t ask for ID,” the administrator told DailyMail.com.

“They don’t even check if they’re licensed to teach. Many of the teachers there have tattoos.”

Raymond

Raymond “RJ” McLeod is pictured in El Salvador Monday after being arrested after six years on the run

McLeod is seen being taken away by police in El Salvador on Monday

McLeod is seen being taken away by police in El Salvador on Monday

Krystal Mitchell, 30, was killed in a San Diego apartment in June 2016

Krystal Mitchell, 30, was killed in a San Diego apartment in June 2016

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Univision reported that he was paid $1,000 a month.

The marshals added him to their 15 Most Wanted list in April 2021 and offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to his arrest – double the usual amount.

McLeod was described as armed, dangerous and a heavy drinker

McLeod was described as armed, dangerous and a heavy drinker

He was wanted for the murder of his new girlfriend Krystal Mitchell, 30, in June 2016 at an apartment they were staying in while they were visiting his friends in San Diego.

Mitchell’s mother, Josephine Funes Wentzel, a retired police officer, was instrumental in tracking down McLeod, San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan said.

“This defendant’s brazen attempt to evade justice is over and the work of bringing him to justice in court for the murder of Krystal Mitchell can now begin,” Stephan said.

“Great credit goes to the victim’s mother, who never gave up the search for her daughter’s killer and worked closely with our office and other law enforcement agencies to make this arrest possible.”

Wentzel, who traveled across Latin America – at one point he was threatened by a knife on the Guatemalan border, at another point brutally attacked by a wild dog – said McLeod was spotted by a woman in El Salvador.

“Obviously, my daughter cannot be brought back, but I am relieved that this man is no longer a threat to women in Mexico and Central America,” she told Univision.

She said she’s spent a long time in Guatemala — he was seen in a video clip dancing with a woman in a bar at the Almost Famous Hostel in the coastal town of Livingston during Christmas 2016 — but said she wasn’t particularly fond of El focused Salvador.

“I’ve looked in El Salvador, but I’ve never really focused on that country,” she said.

“A Hispanic friend told me, ‘He’s not going to El Salvador — they’re going to kill him.’

“But there he was — in the same community as the person who told me that.”

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Mitchell is pictured with her mother, Josephine Wentzel, a retired detective who worked on the case

Mitchell is pictured with her mother, Josephine Wentzel, a retired detective who worked on the case

Wentzel said local authorities received a tip from a local woman.

“There was an official complaint. A woman in El Salvador recalled reading an article on Univision’s website and seeing the man.

“She called to report him.”

Wentzel said she, too, widely circulated the Univision article in hopes of tracking it down.

“I shared this article because it was in Spanish and explained everything.

“I sent it out to several people on social media.

“He was hiding in a small town in El Salvador, pretending to be Canadian. You could go straight to his classroom and arrest him.”

McLeod has been described as armed, dangerous, an

McLeod has been described as armed, dangerous, an “enthusiastic bodybuilder” and “heavy drinker”.

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Krystal Mitchell, 30, of Phoenix, had only been dating McLeod a few weeks when he killed her

Krystal Mitchell, 30, of Phoenix, had only been dating McLeod a few weeks when he killed her

Mitchell was found strangled after they visited a bar and McLeod got into an argument with another man, also an ex-Marine. All three were thrown out of the bar. McLeod and Mitchell returned to the rental apartment, and Mitchell was found dead the next day with obvious signs of struggle.

McLeod, who investigators said had a history of violence, went on the run – traveling through Mexico to Central America.

He was spotted in Guatemala in 2017 and in Belize the following year.

Marshals asked for help but warned him as “armed and dangerous” – and described him as an “enthusiastic bodybuilder and heavy drinker”.

When he made the top 15 list in 2021, Marshal Steve Stafford of the Southern District of California said they would never give up.

McLeod is seen Monday after being arrested by Salvadoran police

McLeod is seen Monday after being arrested by Salvadoran police

Marshals said McLeod can be recognized by his distinctive skull tattoos

Marshals said McLeod can be recognized by his distinctive skull tattoos

The former Marine was living in Phoenix, Arizona at the time he went on the run

The former Marine was living in Phoenix, Arizona at the time he went on the run

“The passage of time will never deter the Marshals’ investigation into McLeod,” he said.

“If anything, it feeds our resolve. We will leave no stone unturned until he is brought to justice.’

Wentzel thanked Frankie Sanchez, the regional head of the US Marshals Task Force, and his colleague Francisco Barajas for their “outstanding work.”

“I had faith and trust in her and ever since I met Francisca Barajas I had full confidence that that day would come and he would be the one who would catch it,” she said.

‘ I told him, ‘You are my hero. We are connected for life.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11162755/Bodybuilding-ex-Marine-36-Marshals-wanted-list-said-Jack-Donovan-Canada.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Bodybuilding ex-Marine, 36, on US Marshals Most Wanted list said he is “Jack Donovan” from Canada

Andrew Kugle

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