US Most Wanted Man FINALLY caught: Bodybuilding ex-Marine, 36, found teaching English in El Salvador

America’s Most Wanted Man FINALLY Caught: Ex-Marine bodybuilder, 36, found teaching English in El Salvador after six years on the run for strangling his girlfriend to death on trip to San Diego

  • Raymond ‘RJ’ McLeod was arrested by police in El Salvador on Monday and turned over to US Marshals
  • The 36-year-old man 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 seen in Belize in 2018 and Guatemala in 2017.
  • The former Marine was added in April 2021 to the US Marshals’ 15 Most Wanted list, the first person to have an initial reward of up to $50,000

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A former Marine considered so dangerous that US Marshals set him the highest bounty in history has been captured in El Salvador after six years on the run.

Raymond ‘RJ’ McLeod, 36, was found teaching English in the city of Sonsonate, population 71,000, 20 miles inland from the Pacific coast.

Sheriffs in April 2021 added him to their 15 ‘Most Wanted’ list and offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to his arrest, double the usual amount.

He was wanted for the June 2016 murder of his new girlfriend Krystal Mitchell, 30, in an apartment they were staying in while visiting friends in San Diego.

Raymond 'RJ' McLeod is photographed Monday in El Salvador, after being arrested after six years on the run.

Raymond ‘RJ’ McLeod is photographed Monday in El Salvador, after being arrested after six years on the run.

Krystal Mitchell, 30, of Phoenix, had only been dating McLeod for a few weeks when he killed her.

Krystal Mitchell, 30, of Phoenix, had only been dating McLeod for a few weeks when he killed her.

She was found strangled, having visited a bar and McLeod got into an argument with another man, also a former Marine. All three were kicked out of the bar. McLeod and Mitchell returned to the rental apartment, and Mitchell was found dead the next day, with obvious signs of a struggle.

McLeod, who investigators say had a history of violence, went on the run, traveling through Mexico to Central America.

It was seen in Guatemala in 2017 and in Belize the following year.

The marshals called for help, but warned that they considered him “armed and dangerous”, describing him as “an avid bodybuilder and a heavy drinker”.

When they added him to 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

McLeod is seen Monday after being arrested by Salvadoran police

The former Marine was living in Phoenix, Arizona at the time of his absconding.

The former Marine was living in Phoenix, Arizona at the time of his absconding.

Mitchell is pictured with his mother, Josephine Wentzel, a retired detective who worked on the case.

Mitchell is pictured with his mother, Josephine Wentzel, a retired detective who worked on the case.

“The passage of time will never deter sheriffs from investigating McLeod as a fugitive,” he said.

‘If anything, it fuels our determination. 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 track down her daughter’s suspected killer and thanked Frankie Sanchez, the regional head of the U.S. Marshals Task Force, and her colleague Francisco Barajas for his “excellent work”.

“I have had faith and trust in them, and since I met Francisca Barajas I had full confidence that this day would come and he would be the one to catch it,” he said.

‘I told him: ‘You are my hero.’ We are united for life.

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