US Most Wanted Man FINALLY caught: Bodybuilding ex-Marine, 36, is found on the run teaching English in El Salvador after six years for choking his girlfriend to death on a trip to San Diego
- Raymond “RJ” McLeod was arrested by police in El Salvador on Monday and handed over to US Marshals
- The 36-year-old from Phoenix, Arizona, is wanted for the murder of his girlfriend Krystal Mitchell, 30, in San Diego in June 2016
- McLeod fled through Mexico to Central America after Mitchell’s death and was spotted in Belize in 2018 and Guatemala in 2017
- The former Marine was named to the 15 Most Wanted US Marshals list in April 2021 – the first person to receive an initial reward of up to $50,000
A former Marine believed to be so dangerous he had the largest bounty ever placed on his head by US Marshals has been arrested in El Salvador after six years on the run.
Raymond “RJ” McLeod, 36, was found teaching English in the 71,000-person town of Sonsonate, 20 miles inland from the Pacific coast.
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.
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.
Raymond “RJ” McLeod is pictured in El Salvador Monday after being arrested after six years on the run
McLeod has been described as armed, dangerous, an “enthusiastic bodybuilder” and “heavy drinker”.
Krystal Mitchell, 30, of Phoenix, had only been dating McLeod a few weeks when he killed her
She 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
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
Mitchell is pictured with her mother, Josephine Wentzel, a retired detective who worked on the case
“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.’
Mitchell’s mother, a former detective, Josephine Wentzel, came out of retirement to help find her daughter’s alleged killer and thanked Frankie Sanchez, head of the US Marshals’ regional 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-11159091/US-Wanted-Man-FINALLY-caught-Bodybuilding-ex-Marine-36-teaching-English-El-Salvador.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 US Most Wanted Man FINALLY caught: Bodybuilding ex-Marine, 36, found English class in El Salvador