‘Most wanted’ fugitive pictured teaching in El Salvador
His college students in El Salvador knew him as “Jack Donovan.”
However a photograph of their English trainer depicted infamous homicide suspect Raymond “RJ” McLeod — one of many US Marshals’ most needed fugitives who was lastly busted in his classroom after a six-year worldwide hunt providing a file $50,000 reward.
The image of the musclebound Marine vet in a classroom emerged as prosecutors introduced Friday that McLeod, 37, was again in San Diego, Calif., and had been arraigned on a cost of murdering his girlfriend, Krystal Mitchell, in 2016.
The 5-foot-11, 245-pound bodybuilder had been seen slapping Mitchell in a bar earlier than the killing — fleeing the nation earlier than her overwhelmed and strangled physique was discovered, prosecutors stated.
San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit on Friday referred to as it “one of the vital violent murders I’ve ever … seen.”
The fugitive was lastly busted Monday in a classroom within the small Central American metropolis Sonsonate, the place authorities now imagine he’d been instructing below the faux title for a minimum of two years.
“This week, this defendant’s brazen try to evade justice was over,” San Diego County District Legal professional Summer time Stephan said at a Friday press conference.
The DA careworn “the X Issue on this case was Josephine Wentzel, Krystal’s mom,” calling the retired Guam Police Department detective “an inspiration.”
“She was by no means going to surrender, and she or he was doggedly decided to carry the person who killed her daughter to justice,” the DA stated.
“Josephine is just a pressure of nature, and as I’ve stated earlier than, and I’ll say it once more — he messed with the incorrect mom.”
Wentzel couldn’t disguise her pleasure, admitting that “after six years” she “wasn’t too positive” her daughter’s accused assassin would ever be discovered.
“Sure! I received him!” the mother declared, pumping her fist in victory.
“And he’s not gonna get away once more. He’s by no means going to be launched from that jail if I can have one thing to do with that,” she stated after the captured fugitive was ordered held in custody at his arraignment.
Over time, McLeod was traced to Mexico, Belize and Guatemala, at all times managing to remain one step forward of these chasing him.
Final yr, the Marshals Service intensified the hunt — making him the first-ever fugitive on its “15 Most Wanted” list with a $50,000 reward.
The breakthrough got here Aug. 20 when US Marshalls had been tipped off “somebody resembling McLeod” was instructing English on the Sonsonate college, officers stated.
Investigators had been cautious at first since earlier ideas seemed to be “making an attempt to throw us off,” Chief Deputy US Marshal Joseph O’Callaghan stated.
Two marshals flew to El Salvador on Saturday and “decided the person inside the college was in reality Mr. McLeod, going by the title of Jack Donovan,” O’Callaghan stated.
“El Salvadorian law-enforcement officers took McCloud into custody contained in the classroom from the place he was instructing,” he stated, with out revealing if any of his college students had been within the room on the time. McLeod admitted his true identification, the officers stated.
Having already decided he was within the Central American nation illegally, US officers had been in a position to deport him in only a day.
O’Callaghan additionally referred to as Mitchell’s mother “a driving pressure on this arrest.”
“With out her staying… on prime of his case, this might have been considerably tougher for us,” he stated, saying she was now “household with the US Marshal Service.”
Regardless of her personal six-year hunt coming to an finish, hero mother Wentzel instantly provided assist to different households going through comparable heartbreak, telling them: “By no means hand over.
“And if there’s any method that I might help anybody please be at liberty to succeed in out to me. I’d be glad that can assist you discover justice as properly,” she added.