Lester Eubanks is listed as one of the U.S. Marshals Service 15 most wanted criminals. His escape will be one of the cases investigated in Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries season 2.
Eubanks was serving a life sentence for the murder and attempted rape of 14-year-old Mary Ellen Deener, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. In December 1973, while on furlough to go Christmas shopping, Eubanks simply walked away. He has never been found.
Eubanks had originally been sentenced to death for the murder and rape, but that was changed to a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole later on, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
Authorities Have Been Searching for Eubanks Since 1973
On the run for nearly 50 years, Lester Eubanks is the subject of one of the nation’s fiercest manhunts.
US Marshals give @ABC unprecedented access to the chase—and hope listeners can help deliver the crucial clue that can bring Eubanks to justice.
— ABC News (@ABC) November 10, 2019
Since his disappearance in December 1973, Eubanks has not been found. Authorities believe that the murderer is living somewhere under a new identity that he created for himself, according to the Mansfield News Journal.
Eubanks has been the subject of plenty of TV specials including a 2020 episode of In Pursuit With John Walsh. According to the Mansfield News Journal, Eubanks has relatives living in Mansfield, but he could be anywhere in the world. Authorities believe that he is still extremely dangerous.
There is now a $25,000 reward offered for information leading authorities to Eubanks.
Leads Have Placed Eubanks in Michigan or California
Because of good behavior in prison, convicted murderer Lester Eubanks was allowed to go Christmas shopping in 1973. He hasn't been seen since. Now, U.S. Marshals are back on his case https://t.co/qo2XvByA8R
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) January 20, 2019
According to a press release from the U.S. Marshals, there have been leads placing the killer in both Michigan and California, but there have been no official sightings of him reported.
“Lester Eubanks has had a lot of time on the lam,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal David Siler according to the press release. “Fugitives on the run as long as Eubanks tend to use that time to change their appearance, use aliases, and even start new lives. He literally could be hiding in plain sight. This is why we are asking citizens to be vigilant and contact us with any information they believe will help us apprehend him.”
After the release, Siler told Rolling Stone that leads have also placed him in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Ohio, but none of those leads have led to the capture of Eubanks.
Investigators Believe DNA may Help Locate Eubanks
A new fugitive has been added to the "15 Most Wanted" list.
— Dana Whyte (@dwhytereports) December 9, 2018
As recently as 2019, U.S. Marshals have attempted to get the approval needed to compare Eubanks’ son’s DNA against DNA that has been collected at crime scenes around the country, according to ABC News.
“We’re going to do everything within our legal means to uncover the identity that Lester Eubanks is utilizing,” Peter Elliot, the U.S. Marshal for Northern Ohio, told ABC’s Have You Seen This Man? podcast.
Familial DNA was used to catch Joseph DeAngelo, the Golden State Killer, in 2018. Authorities are hoping to use the same type of database to find and capture Eubanks, though they are running into some issues, according to ABC News.
The site reported that the FBI prohibits searching their database using a relative’s DNA, Henry T. Greely explained to ABC News.
“I think the first problem is how to get it into the database to begin with,” he told them.
Eubanks is described as a 5-foot-11 Black male with black hair and brown eyes. Unique characteristics include a mole under his left eye, and authorities believe he may be using the alias Victor Young, according to a press release.
Tune in to Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries for more information on Eubanks.