Manhunt for Army deserter accused of killing wife in South Carolina

Joshua Blauvelt, an active-duty Army recruiter, is wanted for killing his wife in South Carolina in October 2016. 

US Marshals via KOIN

PORTLAND, Ore. — U.S. Marshals sent an alert for the public to be on the lookout for an Army deserter charged with murder who may be in Oregon, reports CBS affiliate KOIN.

John Tufton Blauvelt allegedly murdered his estranged wife, Catherine, on Oct. 24 in South Carolina. The 28-year-old is an active-duty Army recruiter who is now considered a deserter.

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Catherine Blauvelt

WSPA

Catherine Blauvelt, 22, was found dead in an empty home in Simpsonville, S.C., on October 26, reports CBS affiliate WSPA. She had reportedly sustained stab wounds. Catherine was reported missing after family members didn’t see or hear from her for several hours. 

Her friends reportedly started searching for her and found her body in an abandoned house that was a high school hangout, police say. Police say Catherine’s body was found in a small concrete cellar in the basement. 

A second man, Charles Sidney Scott Jr., 31, is also charged in the killing. Scott was already in jail on another charge. Simpsonville Police Chief Steven Moore told WSPA that Blauvelt was a suspect all along because of past domestic abuse calls to the couple’s home.

Investigators learned Blauvelt left South Carolina with a 17-year-old girl, who was safely found in Eugene, Oregon on Dec. 12. 

The station reports that Blauvelt has aliases including Blue Blauvelt, John Bluefields, Vincent Mendoza and Victor Sacceti.

Blauvelt is 5-feet-8, 185 pounds, with brown hair, brown eyes, and tattoos on his chest, left wrist and arm and right arm. He may have a military-style green camouflage backpack.

KOIN reports that Blauvelt is likely now traveling alone and may be hitchhiking or catching buses. Authorities said he could be anywhere along the West Coast of the United States, and would likely try to work under-the-table in a cash-paying job. He may also be camping in homeless areas.

A reward of up to $2500 is being offered. Anyone with information is asked to contact the U.S. Marshals tip line at 800.336.0102 or at usms.wanted@usdoj.gov