Ex-Marine Captured for Allegedly Killing Girlfriend 6 Years Ago After Her Detective Mom Helps Track Him Down

According to U.S. Marshals, ex-Marine Raymond McLeod, 37, allegedly strangled 30-year-old mother of two Krystal Mitchell to death in a San Diego apartment, while the pair were on vacation

Krystal Mitchell
Krystal Mitchell. Photo: Facebook

Authorities captured an ex-military man who they say fled the U.S. after allegedly killing his girlfriend six years ago while the couple was on vacation visiting friends.

According to U.S. Marshals, 37-year-old Marine veteran Raymond McLeod allegedly strangled 30-year-old mother of two Krystal Mitchell to death in a San Diego apartment while the pair were visiting from Phoenix on June 10, 2016.

The San Diego District Attorney's Office charged McLeod — described by authorities as an avid body builder and a heavy drinker — with murder and a warrant was issued for his arrest, a news release reads.

Raymond McLeod
Raymond McLeod.

According to authorities, McLeod evaded capture and allegedly fled the U.S. for Mexico and then Central America.

After six years on the lam, he was captured by law enforcement in El Salvador on Tuesday.

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KSAZ-TV reports the victim's mother — former detective Josephine Wentzel — was instrumental in helping track down her daughter's alleged killer.

"When he took [Mitchell] from our lives, he tore a hole in our hearts, and I just decided to get involved," Wentzel told the outlet. "I wanted justice for her. I wanted her kids to see justice, and I wanted to see justice before I left this Earth."

From the day her daughter was killed, Wentzel said she came out of retirement and dedicated her time to helping authorities track down McLeod, combing through social media and following possible leads on his whereabouts.

The years-long search came to an end Tuesday when McLeod was taken into custody without incident, per authorities.

"Finally, we got the snake, and we are getting him off the streets," Wetzel said, per the station. "Finally, I don't have to spend another moment looking at his picture. Finally, I don't have to wake up at 3:00 a.m. to do searches."

"This chapter can be closed," she added. "Of course, we have a new chapter that is opening... which is going to be the courts."

McLeod was formerly on the U.S. Marshals' 15 Most Wanted list.

He will be deported to San Diego to be formally charged. It is unclear if he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

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