A determined mother assisted law enforcement in apprehending an elusive suspect accused of her daughter’s murder.
In June 2016, Krystal Mitchell and her then-boyfriend, Raymond McLeod, drove from Arizona to visit friends in San Diego. A friend found Mitchell brutally beaten and strangled to death in a bedroom of the apartment where they stayed, according to investigators.
McLeod, 37, was the prime suspect in the murder of the 20-year-old mother-of-two and a warrant was issued for his arrest, but he disappeared.
The murder case went cold when law enforcement failed to locate McLeod – a former Marine.
Frustrated with the progress made in solving her daughter’s murder, Josephine Wentzel took it upon herself to hunt down Krystal’s killer.
Wentzel — who worked as a former police officer in Guam — used her expertise to help authorities find McLeod.
Wentzel – who has been raising her daughter’s two children for six years – has enrolled in courses to learn how to use the internet and social media to track people online abc news.
The grieving but determined mother credits her inner “Mama Bear” with having the passion and tenacity to solve her daughter’s murder.
“It’s not about being a former detective,” Wentzel said.Good morning America.” “It’s about being a mother. It’s that bear mama. It is that mother’s determination that I gave birth to this child and, so help me God, I will take care of this child until I die.”
Authorities believed McLeod fled to Mexico but were unable to locate him. Law enforcement said McLeod had been sighted in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico, but nothing led to his arrest. He was on the US Marshals’ list of the 15 most wanted fugitives.
Finally, authorities arrested McLeod on August 29 in El Salvador — about 3,000 miles from the scene. He was reportedly teaching English to local people under an assumed name.
“He really kept a low profile and didn’t put his head up very often. He obviously had training in clandestine operations and such things, which I’m sure he related to,” said Joseph O’Callaghan, chief deputy of the USA Marshals Service.
During a Friday news conference, the US Marshalls Office credited Wentzel with helping them track McLeod. The US Marshals Service proclaimed Wentzel a “mastermind” in McLeod’s arrest.
The San Diego County Attorney’s Office issued a statement stating that Wentzel “assisted in assisting authorities in locating McLeod.”
“Wentzel has generated leads for law enforcement and helped spread the word about the international manhunt on social media,” the statement added.
Wentzel told GMA: “It’s been years of hard work and to be honest I wasn’t sure. The most important thing is to show their faces in public.”
McLeod appeared in court last week and pleaded not guilty to the murder charges. He was ordered to be held without bondage.
Wentzel said: “This is a closed chapter. Now I have another chapter to be involved in and that is the justice system. I have told the prosecutors that I hope they will do their due diligence. I’m here to make sure this case goes through … and do whatever it takes to make that happen, because my family deserves that justice.”
Mom helps police track down a Phoenix fugitive accused of strangling her daughter to death
https://www.theblaze.com/news/mother-solves-cold-case-murder-marine Mother Solves Daughter’s Cold Case Murder By Marine