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US marshal says they're 'getting closer' to Lester Eubanks, a killer on the run for decades

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 10/20/2020 Lou Whitmire, Mansfield News Journal
a man wearing a suit and tie: An age-enhanced photo of Lester Eubanks has been released by authorities, 45 years after Eubanks escaped in Columbus. © Provided An age-enhanced photo of Lester Eubanks has been released by authorities, 45 years after Eubanks escaped in Columbus.

MANSFIELD, Ohio – U.S. marshals believe they are getting closer to locating convicted child killer Lester Eubanks, on the run for 47 years in the 1965 death of 14-year-old Mary Ellen Deener of Mansfield, Ohio.  

Brian Fitzgibbon of the U.S. Marshal Service said Monday that Eubank's story is being featured in an episode of  "Death Row Fugitives" on Netflix, beginning Oct. 20.

"He's alive," said Fitzgibbons. "I feel we're getting closer." 

Mary Ellen went searching for change for the laundromat on Nov. 14, 1965.

It was the last time the 14-year-old was seen alive, according to archives of the Mansfield News Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network.

Eubanks raped the girl, beat her, and shot her twice, the News Journal earlier reported.

Eubanks was convicted in May 1966 and sentenced to death. In 1972, the Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional, and his sentence was commuted to life in prison. 

Eubanks could have faded from public consciousness, but he was back in the news on Dec. 7, 1973, after escaping while Christmas shopping in Columbus on an honor assignment.

Eubanks, 76, has been on the run ever since. At the time of his disappearance, authorities described him as 5-foot-11 with black hair and brown eyes, weighing approximately 175 pounds.

Fitzgibbon said the marshal service is getting a lot of tips from people filling in the holes.

Fitzgibbon said usually the marshal service asks for help from the public on a person's whereabouts but he said no tip is too small.

"There's nothing putting him in a place (location)," Fitzgibbon said. "We're looking for any information to his life on the run or the history of his life on the run," he added. 

Follow reporter Lou Whitmire Twitter: @LWhitmir

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This article originally appeared on Mansfield News Journal: US marshal says they're 'getting closer' to Lester Eubanks, a killer on the run for decades

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