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Child Killer Who Escaped From Prison Nearly 50 Years Ago May Be 'Hiding In Plain Sight'

Lester Eubanks brutally murdered a 14-year-old girl during an attempted rape, then walked away from prison custody 45 years ago while on a furlough to do Christmas shopping.

By Gina Tron

A convicted child killer could be "hiding in plain sight" 45 years after escaping from prison, authorities warn as they refocus on catching him.

On Dec. 7, 1973, Lester Eubanks "walked away from the custody of the Ohio Department of Corrections while on a temporary furlough to go Christmas shopping."

He was never seen again.

The U.S. Marshal Service have added Eubanks, now 75, to its ”15 Most Wanted” list, coinciding with the anniversary of what they call one of Ohio’s “most notorious prisoner escapes.”

On Nov. 14, 1965, Eubanks brutally shot and bludgeoned a 14-year-old girl named Mary Ellen Deener to death during an attempted rape. One year later, he was convicted of first-degree murder while perpetrating rape. Though he was originally sentenced to be executed, his punishment was later commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Now, the U.S. Marshals appear adamant on tracking him down.

“The U.S. Marshals are not deterred by the passage of time when it comes to cases like this one,” U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott of the Northern District of Ohio said in their release. “We are fueled by one thing, and this is justice for 14-year-old Mary Ellen Deener, of Mansfield, Ohio, the innocent victim in this case.”

The U.S. Marshals think that Eubanks is living under an alias. Although they admit that he could be anywhere, leads have pointed to possibly Michigan or California.

“Lester Eubanks has had a lot of time on the lam,” Deputy U.S. Marshal David Siler, who has worked the case for two years, said in the release.  “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 is described as a 5-foot-11 black male with black hair and brown eyes. When he vanished, he weighed 175 pounds. He has a mole under his left eye and officials think he could be using the alias "Victor Young."

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 of up to $25,000 for information directly leading to Eubank’s arrest

[Photo: U.S. Marshals]

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