Reward upped to $50,000 for tips leading to arrest of Lester Eubanks, man convicted in 1966 murder of teen girl

Updated: Oct. 22, 2020 at 1:21 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The U.S. Marshalls Service announced Thursday they are doubling the reward for a Mansfield man convicted of murdering a teenager more than 50 years ago.

In 1965 14-year-old Mary Ellen Deener and her younger sister were doing laundry at a laundromat on Springmill Street in Mansfield because the family’s dryer broke. On that day Lester Eubanks brutally murdered the teen girl.

Eubanks, now 76-years-old, was convicted of murdering 14-year-old Mary Ellen Deener in 1966. The case was recently featured on the Netflix series “Unsolved mysteries.”

“It’s been over 50 almost 60 years,” said Myrtle Carter, Deener’s older sister. “She was just a typical 14-year-old um you know girl. Just giggling and loved to be with her friends and family.”

Carter has come to terms with the fact that her sister’s killer is roaming free.

“Whether he is free with quotation marks or not he’s not actually free,” explained Carter. “He can’t do what I can do. He still has to hide and that’s gotta be a burden on him. He may have lived but not really lived.”

Eubanks was sentenced to death, but his punishment was lessened to life in prison in 72.

“The Mansfield the local authorities did what they were supposed to do, yes,” Carter said. “It was Columbus authorities that dropped the ball and allowed him to leave and they knew that’s what was going to happen. They weren’t letting people go off death row. It was a set up.”

In 1973 Eubanks was allowed to go Christmas shopping in Columbus with other inmates unescorted as a reward for good behavior, that’s when he escaped. He has been on the run ever since.

“In shock because we thought it was over,” Carter said. “We were all in shock. That’s the only word I can think of to say. Shock and angry.”

Deener was murdered when she left the laundry mat to go to another laundry mat to get more change to finish the laundry.

“Of course no one knows, but the police the authorities figured that Eubanks must have encountered her, they figured he saw her going and just waited because he lived right there in the middle, basically between the two laundry mats, and he just waited for her to come back and attacked her there,” Carter said.

Carter says Eubanks attempted to rape her sister, but when she started screaming, he shot her.

“He was out of jail on bond for raping a girl in a restaurant down the street further,” said Carter. “I guess he liked to stay in his little area where he lived close and commit his crimes.”

The U.S. Marshall has now doubled the reward for Eubanks' arrest from $25,000 to $50,000.

Carter says she has worried that Eubanks is out there hurting other girls.

“Yes, I was concerned about that, but you still have to let that go too,” Carter said. “I just know that things happen in God’s time it don’t happen in my time or yours.”

Authorities released images of what Eubanks may look like now. He is about 5′11 with brown eyes and has a mole under his left eye and a scar on his right arm.

The U.S. Marshall believes Eubanks is alive and may be using the alias Victor Young. If you have any information on his whereabouts contact the Northern Ohio Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4-WANTED.

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