A convicted Ohio child killer on the lam for more than 40 years makes the U.S. Marshals Service’s 15 Most Wanted Fugitives list, with a $25,000 reward for his capture.
Lester Eubanks, serving a life sentence for the death of a 14-year-old Mansfield girl, made one of the most notorious prisoner escapes in Ohio history, according to the Marshals.
Exactly 45 years ago today, on Dec. 7, 1973, prison officials took Eubanks to a shopping center in Columbus and allowed him to shop unescorted as a reward for good behavior. He has eluded authorities ever since.
“While the Eubanks’ case is designated as a cold case, I want to assure the public our investigation into his whereabouts is very active,” said U.S. Marshals Service Deputy Director David Anderson. “I have total confidence in our deputies and our law enforcement partners who are determine to make sure Eubanks’ last days are spent in a prison cell where justice intended it.”
On Nov. 14, 1965, Eubanks shot and bludgeoned to death Mary Ellen Deener in what law enforcement alleged was an attempted rape. On May 25, 1966, a jury found Eubanks guilty and he was sentenced to death. In 1972, Eubanks’ death sentence was commuted to life without the possibility of parole.
Marshals believe Eubanks is alive and living under an alias. Over the years, investigative leads placed the long-time fugitive in Michigan and California, but his whereabouts remain a mystery.
“Lester Eubanks has had a lot of time on the lam,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal David Siler, who has worked the case since January 2016 when it was adopted by the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force cold case unit. “Fugitives on the run as long as Eubanks tend to use that time to change their appearance, use aliases, and even start new lives. He literally could be hiding in plain sight. This is why we are asking citizens to be vigilant and contact us with any information they believe will help us apprehend him.”
Eubanks, 75, is 5-foot-11, has 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 and a large scar or burn on his upper right arm. He may be using the alias Victor Young. In 2017, the U.S. Marshals released an age-progression photo of Eubanks.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102. The Marshals Service is offering a reward up to $25,000 for information directly leading to Eubanks’s arrest.