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Phoenix Fugitive Sought in 2016 Murder of Girlfriend Captured in El Salvador

By on September 1, 2022 0 278Views

U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted fugitive and Phoenix resident, Raymond McLeod, 37, wanted by the San Diego Police Department for the 2016 murder of 30-year-old Krystal Mitchell, was taken into custody Monday afternoon by El Salvadoran law enforcement authorities without incident.

McLeod confirmed his identity to members of the U.S. Marshals team and members of the U.S. Embassy, who were on the ground with the El Salvadoran local and national police when they took him into custody around 4:30 p.m. (Pacific). Authorities had received a tip that McLeod had been teaching English at a school in Sonsonate.

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

On June 10, 2016, San Diego police officers responded to a 911 call of a woman not breathing in an apartment in the 7600 block of Mission Gorge Road in San Diego, California. The woman, later identified as 30-year-old Krystal Mitchell from Phoenix, Arizona, was pronounced dead at the scene by medics. Detectives from the San Diego Police Department’s Homicide Unit responded to the scene and discovered signs of a struggle. They determined Mitchell was last seen alive with her boyfriend McLeod. Mitchell and McLeod, also from Phoenix, had been in San Diego visiting friends. The San Diego District Attorney’s Office charged McLeod with murder, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. In December 2016, local authorities asked the U.S. Marshals to join the manhunt and lead the fugitive investigation for McLeod.

The U.S. Marshals and the San Diego police said at the time they believed McLeod fled through Mexico to Central America after Mitchell’s death. His last reported locations were in Belize in 2018 and Guatemala in 2017. The U.S. Marshals intensified the manhunt for the former Marine turned murder suspect in April 2021, offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to his capture. At the time it was the largest reward offered for a fugitive on the U.S. Marshals Service’s 15 Most Wanted list.

McLeod will be deported to San Diego to face the charges against him.