COLUMBUS, Ohio– The search for a child killer who escaped custody more than 45 years ago continues.
Lester Eubanks, who was out on bond for suspected rape, dragged Mary Ellen Deener behind a vacant house in Mansfield on Nov. 14, 1965. He tried to rape the 14-year-old and shot her twice. He went home and returned, smashing her head with a brick to make sure she was dead.
Eubanks was quickly identified as a suspect and arrested the next day. A jury found him guilty and gave him the death sentence, which was later commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Then on Dec. 7, 1973, prison officials took Eubanks to a Columbus shopping center as a reward for good behavior. He didn’t return for his scheduled pickup and has not been seen since.
On Tuesday, the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force released a new age progression image of Eubanks, thanks to the forensic imaging unit at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
“The technology and the talent of the artists has created a likeness that will hopefully bridge the gap in time that will enable a Facebook user or an Instagram follower to identify this child killer. This pencil-to-paper approach helps humanize a photograph that takes him from escapee to old-man,” said U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott in a news release on Tuesday.
Eubanks is now 75. He has black hair and brown eyes. At the time of his escape, he weighed 175 pounds. He has a mole under his left eye and a scar on his right arm. Marshals said he may use the alias Victor Young.
“I think about this case every day and the little girl who was killed,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal David Siler, who has worked the case since January 2016. “In law enforcement, there are cases that keep you up at night; this is one of those cases.”
Anyone with information on Eubanks or any other wanted fugitive should call the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4WANTED. You can also send anonymous tips by texting the word “WANTED” and the info to TIP411.