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EXCLUSIVE: A brand new picture exhibits the previous fugitive and suspected killer Raymond “RJ” McLeod on the head of his El Salvador classroom, days after U.S. marshals and native police arrested him close to the Pacific Ocean after six years on the lam.
McLeod, 37, is accused of brutally killing his then-girlfriend, Krystal Mitchell, in San Diego in 2016, then fleeing the nation. After a number of sightings in Central America, marshals say he settled down in El Salvador and took up the lifetime of an English trainer.
Marshals and Salvadoran authorities arrested McLeod round 4:30 p.m. Monday after receiving a tip that he was instructing at a college in Sonsonate, about 40 miles west of San Salvador close to the Pacific Ocean, as Fox Information Digital was first to report.
Mitchell’s mom, former police detective Josephine Wentzel, got here out of retirement to assist monitor down her daughter’s killer. She advised Fox Information that McLeod had been laying low within the Colonia Angelica neighborhood of Sonsonate, described by locals as “sort of harmful.”
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The ex-Marine was an “avid bodybuilder and heavy drinker” with a historical past of home violence even earlier than the slaying, in line with the marshals.
After the coronavirus pandemic, McLeod minimize down on his consuming, returned to the health club and was incessantly seen on the native soccer stadium, Wentzel mentioned. He had no automobile and was at all times seen strolling round city.
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On the time he grew to become a fugitive, McLeod stood 5 toes, 11 inches tall and weighed round 230 kilos, in line with authorities. In photographs taken after his arrest, he appeared match however leaner, hid his tattoos behind a long-sleeved shirt regardless of the warmth and had grown out his hair and beard.
McLeod was the primary suspect to ever enter the U.S. Marshals’ Prime 15 Most Needed Checklist with a bounty as excessive as $50,000.
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“This defendant’s brazen try and evade justice is over and the work to carry him accountable in a court docket of regulation for the homicide of Krystal Mitchell can now start,” San Diego District Legal professional Summer season Stephan, who’s prosecuting the case, mentioned in a press release. “Enormous credit score goes to the sufferer’s mom who by no means gave up looking for her daughter’s killer and labored intently with our workplace and different regulation enforcement to make this arrest potential.”
Fox Nation host Nancy Grace highlighted the hunt for McLeod early this 12 months on “WANTED: A Nancy Grace Investigation.”
“RJ McLeod doesn’t should be known as a U.S. Marine,” Grace advised Fox Information Digital on Monday. “He savagely murdered Krystal, after which, like a coward, went on the run.”
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Deputy Marshals Francisco Barajas and Luis Ramirez flew right down to El Salvador to help native and nationwide police in his seize at round 4:30 PT Monday and have been escorting him again to the U.S.
“He enjoys hurting ladies for its personal sake,” psychologist Dr. Michael Bourke advised Grace throughout filming of the particular. “He is not somebody that is doing it for another goal. He merely enjoys it.”
Fox Information’ Jenna Miller and Kelly Skehen contributed to this report.