A convicted child killer from Ohio who escaped from custody more than 40 years ago could be living under a different name in Michigan.
The U.S. Marshal Service added Lester Eubanks, 75, to its “15 Most Wanted” fugitive list on Dec. 7.
Marshals believe he is alive and while his whereabouts remain a mystery, investigative leads have led investigators believing Eubanks could be hiding in Michigan and California.
On Nov. 14, 1965, Eubanks shot and bludgeoned to death Mary Ellen Deener in what law enforcement alleged was an attempted rape. Authorities quickly identified Eubanks as the offender. He was arrested the next day and charged with first-degree murder while perpetrating rape.
On May 25, 1966, a jury found Eubanks guilty of the crimes and sentenced him to death. In 1972, Eubanks’ death sentence was commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
On Dec. 7, 1973, prison officials took Lester Eubanks to a shopping center in Columbus, Ohio, and allowed him to shop unescorted as a reward for good behavior. When Eubanks failed to return to his scheduled pick up location, he was reported as an escapee, and has eluded authorities ever since.
“The U.S. Marshals are not deterred by the passage of time when it comes to cases like this one,” said U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott of the Northern District of Ohio. “We are fueled by one thing, and that is justice for 14-year-old Mary Ellen Deener of Mansfield, Ohio, the innocent victim in this case.”
Eubanks is a 5-foot-11 black male with black hair and brown eyes. At the time of his disappearance, he weighed approximately 175 pounds.
Other unique physical characteristics include a mole under his left eye. He may be using the alias Victor Young to hide his true identity. In 2017, the U.S. Marshals released an age-progression photo (above) of Eubanks.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the nearest U.S. Marshals office or the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102. The U.S. Marshals have offered a reward up to $25,000 for information directly leading to Eubank’s arrest.