Washington, DC - The U.S. Marshals are intensifying the manhunt for a former Marine turned murder suspect.
Raymond Samuel "RJ" McLeod, Jr., is now a 15 Most Wanted fugitive, and the first fugitive to make his debut on the list with a reward of up to $50,000 for information directly leading to his arrest.
McLeod, 37, is wanted by the San Diego Police Department for the 2016 murder of 30-year-old Krystal Mitchell, and authorities believe he fled the country and is hiding out in Central America or Mexico.
"Raymond McLeod will be the first fugitive in history on our 15 Most Wanted list with an initial reward of up to $50,000," said U.S. Marshal Service Director Donald Washington. "We want McLeod’s new status as a 15 Most Wanted fugitive and the $50,000 reward amount to be broadcasted far and wide. McLeod poses a significant threat to the public and must be brought to justice."
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 where there were 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 Dec. 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 believe McLeod fled through Mexico to Central America after Mitchell’s death. His last reported locations were in Belize in 2018 and Guatemala in 2017. He may be going by the name Matt or Mateo and is believed to have grown a beard as a disguise. He has several distinguishing tattoos that may help identify him.
"The passage of time will never deter the Marshals' fugitive investigation for McLeod," said U.S. Marshal Steve Stafford of the Southern District of California. "If anything, it fuels our determination. We will leave no stone unturned until he is brought to justice."
McLeod is a 5-foot-11 white male with brown hair and hazel eyes. At the time he fled, McLeod weighed 245 pounds and had a tattooed muscular physique.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the nearest U.S. Marshals office, the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-877-WANTED-2, or online via the web or an app at www.usmarshals.gov/tips.
The McLeod case will be featured on "America's Most Wanted," slated to air at 9 p.m. (Eastern/Pacific) tonight on Fox.