Raymond McLeod: Ex-Marine caught 6 years after GF's death may have KILLED MORE WOMEN, says victim's mother
Raymond 'RJ' McLeod, 36, was captured by US Marshals in Sonsonate, El Salvador, on August 29
A marine who allegedly strangled his girlfriend to death before going into hiding for six years reportedly has a violent past and may have killed others, according to the victim's mother.
Former police detective Josephine Wentzel, 63, made it her life's mission to hunt down Raymond "RJ" McLeod, 36, before he was eventually captured by US Marshals in Sonsonate, El Salvador, on Monday, August 29. The veteran marine, who has a history of domestic violence, was wanted for the June 2016 murder of Wentzel's daughter Krystal Mitchell. The 30-year-old mother-of-two was found beaten and strangled to death inside an apartment in San Diego, California, where she and McLeod were staying during a vacation together.
McLeod would go on the lam following Mitchell's death, heading to Mexico and moving further down South America. Wentzel, a former investigator, did not lose his tracks. She spoke to dozens of McLeod's former partners, ex-colleagues, and associates over the course of her six-year probe into her daughter's alleged killer. She has never met McLeod in person, but she told The Sun how her research and the conversations she had helped paint a vivid picture in her mind of the kind of person he was.
U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted fugitive Raymond McLeod, 37, wanted by the San Diego Police Department for the 2016 murder of 30-year-old Krystal Mitchell, was taken into custody Monday afternoon by El Salvadoran law enforcement authorities without incident: https://t.co/x9GezMfevj pic.twitter.com/M9UkXjEuOm— U.S. Marshals (@USMarshalsHQ) August 30, 2022
Wentzel said McLeod is a violent bully who gets sadistic pleasure from inflicting pain on others. She claimed that he may have potentially killed more women during his time on the lam south of the US border. "I wonder how many other lives he's destroyed and how many women are strangled and missing in that area," Wentzel told the newspaper. "He's done it before, I've spoken to people who have witnessed it," she claimed. "The last one was a Mayan woman he was dating in Livingston, Guatemala. According to her neighbor [McLeod] beat her really badly. When I asked how baldy, the neighbor told me, 'very, very, very bad.'So I don't even know if she lived."
FUGITIVE CAPTURED: Raymond McLeod was captured by U.S. Marshalls in El Salvador after being on the run since 2016.— Briana Whitney (@BrianaWhitney) August 31, 2022
McLeod, a former Marine, is charged with murdering his girlfriend Krystal Mitchell while on vacation in San Diego.
Her mom never gave up...https://t.co/Wh69mhJUDE pic.twitter.com/JpSUA6FPp7
While McLeod has not been formally accused of any additional crimes during his time on the run, it's worth noting that he has a history of domestic violence-related incidents in the US prior to his alleged role in Mitchell's murder. He was reportedly out on bond at the time of her death for a felony charge of inflicting injury on his estranged wife in Riverside, California. That case is still active. In 2009, he reportedly pleaded guilty to aggravated assault against his then-wife and for violating a restraining order. Additional charges including assaulting a minor were also filed but later dropped. McLeod was able to secure a plea deal in that case, and all counts were dropped after he completed a Domestic Violence Diversion Program the following year.
#Breaking San Diego murder suspect Raymond McLeod will be arraigned Friday morning. The Marine fugitive, caught in El Salvador, faces one count for the June 2016 Allied Gardens death of his girlfriend Krystal Mitchell. He was booked at 230 this morning with a no bail hold. pic.twitter.com/iX1IBoWg8y— Phil Blauer (@PhilBFox5) August 31, 2022
According to Wentzel, McLeod's past behavior shows him to be a "violent monster [who] takes pleasure in hurting people." She told The Sun, "He has no conscience. Even as this story is breaking now, I'm getting messages from women in his hometown thanking me for saving them and telling me that all of Arizona is behind me. Marines who served with him have also messaged me left and right, telling me what a terrible person he is and that he was always in trouble." Wentzel added, "This guy is a very bad guy ... [I] looked up all his records and he had a lot of domestic abuse. He's just a very violent person and he's a bully - he bullied everyone, men and women."