Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted Fugitive’s Skull Found by Family Dog



Fugitive was serving time for multiple counts of child sexual assault

Washington – One of the U.S. Marshals’ 15 Most Wanted fugitives is no longer being sought after his skull was discovered only a few miles from the Texas facility from which he escaped in October 2013.

On Wednesday, after DNA confirmation and next-of-kin notification, U.S. Marshals confirmed that the human skull found in Del Valle, Texas, belonged to fugitive Kevin Patrick Stoeser, who had escaped from the Austin Transitional Center where he was serving the remainder of a 156-month sentence for four counts of child sexual assault and one count of possession of child pornography. He pleaded guilty to these charges in 2003.

On Sept. 8, a Del Valle resident contacted the Austin Police Department and reported that his golden retriever had found a human skull. Authorities and the medical examiner responded, and they determined that the skull was that of a Caucasian man with “short blond, military cut hair and a partial ear.” Local media quickly reported on the discovery.

“The physical description of the human skull and where it was found sparked U.S. Marshals interest in the case, because it was very similar to key facts concerning our fugitive investigation for Kevin Stoeser,” said Deputy U.S. John Clifton, the lead criminal investigator on the case.

That interest paid off. The U.S. Marshals worked with local authorities to have the skull sent to the Department of Forensic and Investigative Genetics at the University of North Texas for DNA testing. On Nov. 5, based on the university’s results, the Travis County medical examiner concluded the skull was Stoeser’s.

“With the untimely death of Stoeser, we can now bring closure to this case,” said Robert Almonte, U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas. “On behalf of the United States Marshals Service, we appreciate the assistance of our law enforcement partners throughout the nation who contributed a great deal of time and energy to see this investigation through.”

The Austin Police Department continues to investigate what caused Stoeser’s death.

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