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Former Marine suspected in girlfriend’s 2016 death is found in El Salvador after years on the run – Bullfarts

Published On: Tue, Aug 30th, 2022

Former Marine suspected in girlfriend’s 2016 death is found in El Salvador after years on the run

A former Marine on the U.S. Marshals Service’s 15 Most Wanted fugitives list was captured in El Salvador on Monday, more than six years after his girlfriend was found dead in a San Diego apartment.

U.S. and Salvadoran authorities arrested Raymond Samuel McLeod, 38, of Phoenix, at around 4:30 p.m., according to an agency spokesperson. Authorities received a tip that he was teaching English in Sonsonate, a city in the southwestern part of the country.

McLeod had been on the run since June 10, 2016, when San Diego police responded to a 911 call about a woman not breathing in an apartment in the 7600 block of Mission Gorge Road in San Diego, the U.S. Marshals Service said in a news release.

The woman, later identified as Krystal Mitchell, 30, of Phoenix, was pronounced dead at the scene. She’d been strangled, according to authorities.

Detectives determined Mitchell was last seen alive with McLeod, leading authorities to issue a warrant for his arrest on a murder charge, the U.S. Marshals Service said. The couple were in the city visiting friends at the time of the woman’s death, according to the agency, which was asked to join the manhunt for McLeod in December 2016.

He was added to the U.S. Marshals Service’s Most Wanted list in 2017. 

“I am extremely gratified to hear the news of Raymond McLeod’s arrest without incident,” U.S. Marshals Director Ronald Davis said in a statement.

“It is our sincere hope that his capture brings some sense of relief to Krystal Mitchell’s family, especially her mother, Josephine Wentzel, who has worked so diligently with law enforcement these past years to see this day of justice arrive.”

A “wanted” poster for McLeod says he left the state immediately after Mitchell’s death and was believed to be in Mexico. It also described him as “an avid body builder and a heavy drinker.” The former Marine has a history of domestic violence, according to authorities.

The U.S. Marshals Service intensified the search for McLeod in April 2021, offering a reward of $50,000 for any information leading to his arrest. It was the largest reward offered for anyone on the 15 most wanted list at the time, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Authorities believe McLeod fled to Central America through Mexico after Mitchell’s death. There had been sightings of McLeod over the years, including in Belize in 2018 and Guatemala in 2017, officials said.

Details of McLeod’s capture were not released.

McLeod is currently in custody in El Salvador and will soon be brought back to California to face the charges against him, authorities said.

Todd Miyazawa contributed.

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