Soldier suspected in death of wife in South Carolina may be heading to San Diego

Posted at 5:54 PM, Dec 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-22 21:04:19-05

SAN DIEGO - A U.S. Army deserter from South Carolina suspected in the October death of his wife might be heading toward San Diego, according to the U.S. Marshal's Service, which asked for help from the public in locating him.

John Tufton Blauvelt, 28, is wanted by police in Simpsonville, South Carolina, on suspicion of murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime on Oct. 24.

He was last seen in Oregon last week, believed to be armed and dangerous and heading south along the California coast, according to U.S. Marshals officials.

Blauvelt allegedly murdered his estranged wife, Catherine Blauvelt, and a warrant was issued for his arrest on Nov. 18, officials said. Blauvelt is an active-duty Army recruiter and is now classified as a deserter by the U.S. Army.

Authorities determined that Blauvelt left South Carolina with a 17-year-old female and traveled west across the country in early November. On Dec. 12, the teen was safely recovered in Eugene, Ore.

The girl told authorities that Blauvelt was with her on the morning of Dec. 12, but left and never returned.

Blauvelt is a 5-foot-8-inch white male weighing about 185 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes, and has tattoos on his chest, left wrist and arm and right arm.

He has used aliases including Blue Blauvelt, John Bluefields, Vincent Mendoza and Victor Sacceti. Authorities believe he is traveling alone and no longer has a vehicle, and is likely hitchhiking or catching buses to travel.

Blauvelt may be traveling south through California and staying close to the coast, but he could be anywhere along the West Coast.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Douglas Leslie told 10News: "We believe John Blauvelt may be traveling along the west coast with no specific place in mind. No specific ties have been developed for him in your area. We also believe he has little to no money and is traveling by bus or trying to hitchhike in order to go from one location. We currently have no specific reason to believe he is in San Diego but would not be surprised if he were to be located in your area. We are asking for the communities help to locate and safely capture Blauvelt so he can be returned to SC to answer for the crimes for which he is charged."

Blauvelt will more than likely try to find work under the table to be paid in cash or possibly panhandle, authorities added.

He was traveling with a military-style green camouflage backpack, and camps in local parks or areas known to be frequented by the homeless.

Anyone with information regarding the location of Blauvelt was asked to contact the U.S. Marshals Service tip line at (800) 336-0102 or by email at The U.S. Marshals are offering a reward of up to $2,500 reward for information leading directly to the capture of Blauvelt.