Tag Archive for: Homicide

McLeod

Fugitive Murderer Arrested in Central America

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said today that defendant Raymond McLeod, 37, wanted for the murder of 30-year-old Krystal Mitchell in San Diego, was taken into custody Monday afternoon by El Salvadoran law enforcement authorities without incident. McLeod will be returned to San Diego County to face a charge of murder.

“This defendant’s brazen attempt to evade justice is over and the work to hold him accountable in a court of law for the murder of Krystal Mitchell can now begin,” said DA Stephan. “Huge credit goes to the victim’s mother who never gave up searching for her daughter’s killer and worked closely with our office and other law enforcement to make this arrest possible.”

McLeod confirmed his identity to members of the U.S. Marshals team and members of the U.S. Embassy, who were on the ground with the El Salvadoran local and national police when they took him into custody around 4:30 p.m. (Pacific time). Authorities had received a tip that McLeod had been teaching English at a school in Sonsonate.

Beginning in 2018, the DA’s Office coordinated with the U.S. Marshals Service to lead a targeted social media campaign in Spanish and English to encourage tips on McLeod’s whereabouts through Crime Stoppers. The DA placed Facebook and Instagram ads focused on users in Central America and Mexico. McLeod had been spotted in Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize.

The victim’s mother, Josephine Funes Wentzel, is a former police detective has been instrumental in helping authorities search for McLeod. Wentzel has generated leads for law enforcement and helped spread word about the international manhunt on social media.

On June 10, 2016, San Diego police officers responded to a 911 call of a woman not breathing inside of an apartment in the 7600 block of Mission Gorge Road in San Diego. The woman, later identified a Krystal Mitchell from Phoenix, Arizona, was pronounced dead at the scene by medics. Detectives from the San Diego Police Department’s Homicide Unit responded to the scene and determined that Mitchell was last seen alive with her boyfriend (Raymond McLeod). Mitchell and McLeod, also from Phoenix, had been in San Diego visiting friends.

McLeod fled to Mexico after Mitchell’s death. The District Attorney’s Office charged McLeod with murder in June of 2016 and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Double Homicide Defendant Sentenced for 1987 Cold Case

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced today that a 62-year-old man who killed two people at a birthday party in Ramona then fled to Mexico for 32 years, has been sentenced to 34 years-to-life in prison by San Diego Superior Court Judge Joan Weber for the 1987 slayings of German Aviles, 26, and Ventura Aviles, 21.

On May 27, a jury found Jose Solorio guilty of two counts of second-degree murder after deliberating for two days.

“Today, the families of German and Ventura Aviles received a measure of justice after decades of mourning their loss,” DA Stephan said. “The daughter of German Aviles had to grow up without her loving father over this senseless and violent act.”

During a birthday party for the 4-year-old daughter of German Aviles, Solorio got into an argument with the victims and other men over getting more beer for the party. The defendant became offended over an insult directed at him. He left the party and returned with a loaded handgun.

While standing in the doorway of the apartment, Solorio fatally shot German and Ventura Aviles, then shot and wounded another man inside the apartment. He then shot a fourth man outside the apartment who was returning to the home with beer.

Solorio immediately fled to Mexico, where he hid from law enforcement for 32 years. He was taken into custody in the City of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in April 2019 and extradited from Mexico City in December 2019.

Cold Case Suspect Arrested in Tennessee

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said today that one man has been arrested in connection with the 1990 murder of Larry Joe Breen, 32 in Point Loma. San Diego police and the FBI took Brian Scott Koehl, 51, into custody in Knoxville, TN on July 13, 2022 after a warrant was issued for his arrest. Koehl will be extradited to San Diego where he has been charged with murder. His first hearing in Knox County Superior Court will be held tomorrow, July 14.

“It is a tribute to the commitment and dedication of investigators and prosecutors in our Cold Case Homicide Unit working closely with local and federal law enforcement that we continue to solve decades old crimes, hold murderers accountable and ultimately deliver justice to victims’ loved ones,” said DA Stephan. “Thanks to their hard work and the work our law enforcement partners in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Knox County Sheriff’s Department and the Knox County District Attorney, we will, at long last, be able to seek justice and accountability for the killing of Larry Breen.”

The victim, a petty officer and cook in the US Navy stationed aboard the USS Fox CG-33, was found on May 25, 1990 in the backyard of a home at the corner of Nimitz Boulevard and Locust Street. The victim had recently rented the home and was preparing to move in.  He was slumped against a fence in the backyard and had been stabbed several times in the neck. His car was missing and was later found abandoned over a mile from the crime scene. Despite a thorough investigation by both the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the San Diego Police Department at the time, the murder went unsolved.

Recently, these agencies reexamined the case, and, with the assistance of the District Attorney’s Office Cold Homicide and Research Genealogy Effort (CHARGE), an investigative lead was developed which led to the current criminal charge against Koehl and his arrest.

CHARGE, which is funded by a three- year grant from the US Department of Justice and the Bureau of Justice assistance, is an innovation project by the District Attorney’s office to solve cold case homicides using investigative genetic genealogy, the same research technique that identified the Golden State Killer.  The CHARGE team, which includes deputy district attorneys, investigators, and a research genealogist, has been successfully in identifying the suspects in several cold case homicides including the current prosecution of Carlin Cornett for the 1971 murder of 7-Eleven clerk Christy Bryant and this 1990 murder of Larry Breen.  Deputy District Attorney Lisa Fox is the lead prosecutor on this case.

Maya Millete Case News Conference

DA Charges Larry Millete with Murder

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced today that her office has filed a murder charge against Larry Millete, 40, the husband of May “Maya” Millete, 40, a Chula Vista, California mother of three who has been missing since January. In addition to the murder charge, Millete is also charged with illegal possession of an assault weapon. If convicted, he faces life in state prison.

[WATCH NEWS CONFERENCE HERE]

Millete was arrested today by the Chula Vista Police Department. Following Millete’s arrest, he was booked into a San Diego County Jail and is being held without bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday at 1:30 in the South Bay Courthouse located in Chula Vista.

“Whenever one of our community goes missing, we hope for their safe return,” DA Stephan said. “Sometimes missing persons cases remain unsolved, but as the evidence unfolded in this case, it pointed in one direction— that May was murdered. As we make this announcement, I know the hearts of the community are with May’s family, her three young children, and everyone who knew and loved her.”

California law allows prosecutors to file murder charges even though May’s body has not been found. Specifically, case law holds that successfully disposing of a victim’s body does not entitle a murderer to avoid prosecution.

The District Attorney’s Office filed this case based on evidence that was developed during a nine-month investigation based on the collaboration of the Chula Vista Police Department, which led the investigation and a dedicated team from the DA’s Office along with support from the FBI and NCIS.

“Today is a step toward justice, but it does not mark the end of our investigation,” said Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy. “The Chula Vista Police Department will continue to seek answers for May’s family.”

In San Diego County, there is an average of 13 domestic violence-related homicides each year. These types of murders make up 14 % of all homicides in the county.

If you or someone you know is being abused by a current or former partner, call the National
Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233) for confidential support and assistance.