By Mark F. Gray, AFRO Staff Writer, [email protected]
For five years FBI investigators had been looking for Lamont Stephenson who allegedly killed his fiancée and her dog in 2014 then resigned himself to a secretive existence. Stephenson became one of the 10 most wanted fugitives and was the subject of an intense investigation that last for more than half a decade before he made a critical mistake.
Stephenson was apprehended with the help of Prince George’s County Police last week. He is believed to have been living in the D.C. area since leaving New Jersey to avoid prosecution. Despite the resources that law enforcement authorities committed to the multi-year investigation it may have ultimately been his conscious that led to his capture.
According to Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinksi, officers responded to a 911 call around 2:00 am on March 6 about a suspicious person in a rental company truck parked outside of a closed business in the 7900 block of Annapolis Road. The responding PGPD patrol officers approached the truck and began to talk to Stephenson, who was still inside, and began to check whether he had any open warrants. It was at that point, Stephenson told the officers he was wanted in New Jersey for murder. Stephenson was also checked for weapons and a knife was recovered. The suspect told the PGPD officers he also committed a crime in the District on Wednesday night.
PGPD officers said he was calm and cooperative during the arrest. He willingly offered up his real name and referenced the outstanding charges against him. Published reports say he was “relieved” when the officers arrested him after being in virtual seclusion, because the FBI had a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest since he had been living under a societal radar while on their most wanted list.
Perhaps the guilt of allegedly killing the woman he intended to marry and his admission that he killed another woman in the District on March 5 led to his surrender. Stephenson reportedly admitted his role in the death of 40-year-old Natina Kiah who was stabbed to death in her bedroom, according to a D.C. police report.
According to multiple reports, a family member called to ask police to check in on Kiah who lived an apartment on D Street Southeast.
Police say after allegedly murdering Olga DeJesus and her Chihuahua in 2014, he came to the D.C. region and was living as a criminal refugee. Stawkinski said he had been living in the area for the last several years, though he appeared to be homeless.
Kiah’s mother tells FOX 5 News in D.C. that her daughter met Stephenson at the D.C. homeless shelter where she worked security. She says Kiah had known him for about six months and met him while working for Metropolitan Protective Services.
The FBI had a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. Stephenson has family members in Virginia, according to court documents related to the 2014 charges, and in 2015 pictures of Stephenson were aired on a local news station in the commonwealth and several people reported they believed they had seen him there.
A representative for the FBI said this is one of the reasons the “10 Most Wanted” list exists. The people featured on the list are chosen because the FBI believes public awareness and an increased profile will make them easier to find.
Stephenson was taken into custody and brought to the Criminal Investigation Division. The Prince George’s County Police Department who immediately contacted authorities in Essex County, New Jersey and the Metropolitan Police Department.