Krystal Mitchell and RJ McLeod

Exclusive: Young mother of 2 strangled on San Diego vacation; victim’s mom speaks to Nancy Grace- begging for help to catch the killer

The mom of a murdered Arizona woman is hoping the public can help find the suspect. He’s been on the run since her daughter was found dead in a San Diego hotel room almost two years ago.

CrimeOnline‘s Nancy Grace spoke exclusively with Josephine Wentzel, a former police detective who wants justice for her daughter, 30-year-old Krystal Mitchell, who was found beaten and strangled to death in a San Diego condominium in June 2016. Mitchell was vacationing with boyfriend, 34-year-old Raymond “Matt” McLeod, when she died. McLeod later fled the scene and has been on the run since.

“I knew something was wrong,” Wentzel told Grace, recalling how she felt before she got the dreaded call about her daughter’s death. “It was a gut feeling….it was just a gut feeling. I got very sick, I started shaking. I was just trembling.”

Authorities charged McLeod with murder after they found Mitchell’s body at the condominium, where she’d been vacationing at with McLeod. The pair had only been dating for three weeks when the tragic incident occurred. Police said McLeod was last seen in Guatemala in 2017.

“It’s a feeling like no other,” Wentzel continued. “I’ve had a lot of losses in my life…There’s just something about losing a child but there’s even something else, you get put in a different category when it’s murder.”

Wentzel now takes care of Mitchell’s two young children and she’s determined to bring the alleged killer to justice for her own sake and her grandchildren’s sake.

McLeod came across as a “doting dad” on surface, but court records indicate he has pending case in Riverside County, California, where he was accused of strangling his wife. The victim survived the incident and reported McLeod to authorities. He also has a domestic violence conviction in San Diego stemming from an incident with another wife.

Click here to visit Wentzel’s website on the case, “Angels of Justice.”

McLeod is 5 feet 11 inches tell, weighs around 245 pounds, and and has numerous tattoos up and down his arms.  He goes by the nickname of “RJ,” as well as “Matt” or “Mateo.” Detectives has reason to believe he may be hiding out in Central America.

Anyone with any information about McLeod should contact San Diego Crime Stoppers at 619-531-2293 or 619-531-2000 or 888-580-8477. An award of up to $11,000 for information that leads to McLeod’s capture.

Contributing experts to the “Crime Stories” SIRIUS XM episode on Mitchell’s case include Seattle lawyer Anne Bremner, private investigator Vincent Hill, New York psychologist Caryn Stark, juvenile Judge Ashley Willcott, and “Crime Stories” co-host Alan Duke.

[Feature Photo: Kristin Mitchell, Raymon McLeod/Police Handout]