TFC Stu Recke
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 2, Nortonville
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Fugitive Russell E. Winstead Captured
Date of News Release: 05/03/2005
Madisonville, KY - Fugitive Russell Earl Winstead was arrested by Costa Rican officials today in San Jose, Costa Rica. Winstead was positively identified through fingerprint records and photographs. He was wanted for the murder and robbery of his aunt, Anna Mae Branson of Madisonville.
"Through the Kentucky State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's coordinated effort with international authorities and 'America's Most Wanted' to circulate key information about this fugitive worldwide, he was successfully located and arrested, " said Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence, secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. "I commend the hard work and vigilance of our troopers working this investigation. This is a great day for our justice system."
Winstead is accused of entering her residence on January 12, 2003 and killing her. On July 15, 2003, Russell Winstead was indicted by the Hopkins County Grand Jury for the murder and first degree robbery of Anna Mae Branson.
Prior to the indictment being handed down, Winstead fled the United States to Costa Rica. The Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained federal warrants for Winstead and through their international coordination Winstead was successfully captured in Costa Rica.
"The arrest of Russell Winstead for the brutal murder of his aunt shows that when law enforcement agencies combine forces, the sum is greater than its parts," said KSP Commissioner Mark L. Miller. "I commend the efforts of KSP's Madisonville Post, the Madisonville Police Department, the FBI and the television show America's Most Wanted. Because of their diligent actions, justice will be served. I compliment KSP Detective Ben Wolcott for his tenacity and multi-agency coordination which demonstrates his unwavering commitment to the successful resolution of this case."
Winstead will remain in a Costa Rican jail until he is extradited back to the United States.