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US Marshals offer $50K reward for information on suspect in 2016 murder of Phoenix woman

US Marshals offer $50K reward for information on suspect in 2016 murder of Phoenix woman
US Marshals offer $50K reward for information on suspect in 2016 murder of Phoenix woman(US Marshals)
Updated: Feb. 22, 2022 at 2:33 PM MST
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WASHINGTON, DC (3TV/CBS 5) -- The US Marshals announced they are offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information on a former marine wanted for the murder of a Phoenix woman in 2016.

The man they are looking for is 37-year-old Raymond Samuel “RJ” McLeod Jr and the US Marshals say he has now been added to the list of 15 Most Wanted fugitives, becoming the first fugitive to make his debut on the list with such a high reward.

“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.”

McLeod is wanted by San Diego police for the 2016 murder of 30-year-old Krystal Mitchell, who is from Phoenix. Officials believe he left the country and has been hiding out in either Central America or Mexico.

Krystal’s mother, Josephine Funes Wentzel, calls this recent announcement by the U.S. Marshals a “victory.”

“She used to tell people ‘you dont’ want to mess with my mother’,” says Wentzel. Wentzel, a former police detective, has spent nearly five years tirelessly tracking RJ around Central America. “I had sent a bunch of information to different social media sites asking for help and that’s when I had a lot of tips. People had seen him running around like nothing happened.”

Wentzel says she won’t rest until RJ is captured. She keeps going for Krystal.

“Imagine losing your legs. You wake up one day, and your legs are gone,” says Wentzel. “Your brain tells you you can still walk, but you can’t walk, and you have to decide whether you’re just going to lay there and die or figure a way out to walk again.”

Wentzel helps other families impacted by violence through her organization Angels of Justice. “Never, never give up,” says Wentzel. “Because we become our children’s voices. I am Krystal’s voice.”

On June 10, 2016, police responded to Mitchell’s apartment in San Diego after getting a call about a woman not breathing. The press release says she was pronounced dead on scene. Detectives found signs of a struggle at the scene and determined that her boyfriend, McLeod, was the last one to see hear alive. McLeod is also from Phoenix. Both Mitchell and McLeod were in San Diego visiting friends at the time of the murder.

The San Diego District Attorney’s Office charged McLeod with murder and issued a warrant for his arrest. By December of 2016, San Diego PD asked for assistance from the US Marshals in locating McLeod.

McLeod is described as white man, about 5 feet, 11 inches tall with brown hair and hazel eyes. US Marshals say when he fled the country, he weighed 245 pounds and has a “tattooed muscular physique.”

If you have any information, call your nearest US Marshals office at 1-877-WANTED-2 or submit a tip online here.