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Sep 14, 2017

15 Months On, Search Continues for Krystal Mitchell’s Killer in Belize

Raymond McLeod Jr.

It has now been fifteen months since the murder of thirty-year-old Krystal Mitchell, who was found dead at the apartment of an acquaintance in San Diego, California. The divorced mother-of-two from Phoenix, Arizona, struck up a relationship with thirty-three year old Raymond Samuel McLeod Junior, a Marine Corps recruiter and bodybuilder. They had gone to vacation in San Diego with friends. But police there believe McLeod, also known as RJ, stole Mitchell’s car, later abandoning it at the airport; withdrew as much as ten thousand U.S. dollars from her account and fled to Mexico, from where it is believed he made his way to Belize. Mitchell’s mother Josephine Funes Wentzel called on her past as a detective on the island of Guam and uncovered startling details about her daughter’s partner – details that, as she told News Five’s Aaron Humes today, make it imperative that he is caught and made to face justice.


Aaron Humes, Reporting

In December, the U.S. Embassy in Belize issued a bulletin seeking information on the whereabouts of U.S. national Raymond Samuel McLeod junior, who is wanted in connection with the murder of Krystal Mitchell in San Diego on June tenth, 2016.  McLeod is also known as RJ. He is believed to be moving between southern Belize, Honduras and Guatemala. And according to Krystal’s mother and caretaker of her two children Josephine Funes Wentzel, he doesn’t seem to be trying to hide.


Josephine Wentzel

Via Skype: Josephine Wentzel, Mother of Deceased

“That was the last report and then in December of last year, after I didn’t hear anything else, I decided to go on Facebook and I appealed to the people of Belize to help me find him there because nobody was really looking. And so I received a lot of contacts from the people of Belize and there were a lot of sightings of him, running all over the place and in one of them the U.S. Marshals actually confirmed the sighting. Seen all over Belize, and then the last report I got was he was somewhere – I think it was in January – he was somewhere in Punta Gorda and then he was also sighted in the neighboring countries; he was sighted in Livingston, Guatemala; there was a sighting of him in Honduras. But I believe he is staying in that coastal area so he could [get in and out] of Belize, I don’t know what the situation is there but apparently people can travel there by boat.”


San Diego police, according to U.S. television show Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen, have held back on some details of what may have happened to Krystal to advance their investigation. But they have confirmed that R.J. is the prime suspect and that there were signs of a struggle in the room where Krystal’s body was found. Wentzel herself tells us that she has found out much more about her daughter’s possible killer.


Krystal Mitchell

Via Skype: Josephine Wentzel

“He’s a charming man from what I understand; he’s been with a lot of women, different women. My daughter, all she saw in him was that he was charming and he loved his son, supposedly; his son is the same age as her son. And so she was just checking out the relationship; I doubt that it would have gone further. As a matter of fact, I believe she was killed because she was trying to get away from him. I had gotten contacted by several women who said that he’s very dangerous in the way that he targets women, and he loves to strangle them. And he’s a very dangerous man to women; he’s very charming – so if he approaches you, he would approach you with charm but he’s very dangerous. He’s known to use steroids; he’s known to use cocaine and he is known to drink a lot.”


McLeod skipped bail on a different case involving his ex-wife a few months after Krystal’s murder. And while she continues to grieve her daughter’s passing and take care of her two children with husband Michael, Wentzel also continues to pursue justice. She made an urgent plea for those who have crossed paths with McLeod to turn him in before he can hurt anyone else.


Via Skype: Josephine Wentzel

“Catching him is not going to bring my daughter back, but I want to help spare any family out there the tragedy that my family has gone through, because now I have to take care of two small children who don’t have a mother anymore. My grandchildren are victims of a very hideous crime. And so I just caution women out there: watch out for him; do not trust him; do not believe anything he says. If you see him, please, get a hold of the Belize Police; get a hold of the [U.S.] Embassy.”


Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.


Additional video in this story is courtesy Crime Watch Daily. Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez said today authorities here are working with their U.S. counterparts by publicizing the wanted poster issued at the end of 2016. Anyone with information on McLeod is asked to contact Crime Stoppers Belize, the Police or the U.S. Embassy.  It is believed he may have access to weapons and is therefore considered armed and dangerous.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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