Raymond “RJ” McLeod is the former Marine accused of murdering 30-year-old Krystal Mitchell in 2016, whom officials described as McLeod’s girlfriend.
Officials say McLeod has been on the run ever since and he has now been added to the U.S. Marshals Service’s “15 Most Wanted” fugitive list.
There is a $50,000 reward offered for information leading to his arrest. Investigators say they believe McLeod may be in Central America.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. McLeod Was Described as an ‘Avid Boybuilder’ & ‘Heavy Drinker’
At the time of Mitchell’s death, McLeod weighed about 245 pounds. He is 5’11” tall with brown hair and hazel eyes. Investigators say McLeod may be using the name “Matt” or “Mateo.” They also say it’s likely he grew a beard to further disguise himself.
But investigators say his tattoos are distinguishable. McLeod’s chest and arms are covered with tattoos of skulls, various words and phrases.
Anyone with information about McLeod was asked 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 usmarshals.gov/tips.
2. Mitchell Died While She & McLeod Were Visiting Friends in San Diego & Investigators Said There Were ‘Signs of a Struggle’
McLeod and Mitchell both lived in the Phoenix area. The U.S. Marshals Service says they traveled to San Diego to visit friends in June 2016.
Military.com reported that the couple was visiting a friend of McLeod’s, who was married with a baby. According to the outlet, the friend found Mitchell’s body in the guestroom on June 10, 2016, and called 911.
Investigators confirmed emergency responders received a call about a “woman not breathing in an apartment.” Mitchell was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators said there was evidence of a struggle.
Mitchell’s mother, Josephine Wentzel, told KNXV-TV that her daughter had been strangled. “Talking to the coroner, all I want to know is, did my daughter suffer? Did she fight back,” Wentzel told the outlet. “She was just taken away and slaughtered. It was just so wrong.”
Nearly a year after Mitchell died, Wentzel told KNXV-TV she had no doubt McLeod had killed her daughter. “I have no doubt in my mind he’ll kill again. If he hasn’t already after my daughter, because this man has no conscience.”
3. Investigators Believe McLeod Initially Fled to Mexico
After Mitchell was found dead, an arrest warrant was issued for McLeod’s arrest. The U.S. Marshals Service said investigators determined McLeod had been the last person to see Mitchell alive.
But McLeod was nowhere to be found. According to Military.com, the friend in San Diego told officials McLeod had disappeared. Mitchell’s new car was also missing, leading to the assumption that Mcleod may have fled in the vehicle. San Diego Police asked the U.S. Marshals for assistance on the case a few months later.
According to the Marshals Service, investigators believe McLeod headed to Mexico immediately after Mitchell’s death. Witnesses reported sighting of him in Guatemala in 2017 and then in Belize in 2018.
4. Investigators Said McLeod Has a History of Domestic Violence & Has Two Ex-Wives
The U.S. Marshals Service noted on the wanted poster that McLeod has a history of domestic violence but didn’t provide additional details.
A search of online records brings up a February 2009 arrest in Arizona, for a Raymond Samuel McLeod with a matching birthdate, for aggravated assault. The record shows McLeod was charged a few weeks later with aggravated assault on a minor. But the complaint was dismissed by the court.
5. Mitchell Was a Single Mother of Two Children & McLeod Rented an Apartment in a Complex She Managed
Mitchell worked as a property manager, NBC San Diego reported. She met McLeod after he moved into an apartment complex that she oversaw.
Mitchell was a single mother. At the time of her death, her children were 5 and 6. Mitchell’s brother explained on a GoFundMe page that he and Mitchell’s parents were taking care of the children.
According to the obituary, Mitchell grew up in Vancouver, Washington. She moved to Phoenix to pursue a career in property management. She was only 30 when she died.