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Cold case possibly solved with arrest 2 years later, 2,200 miles away

Catherine “Cati” Blauvelt, 22, was found stabbed to death in an abandoned home in Simpsonville on Oct. 24, 2016.
Generic photo of handcuffs

MEDFORD, Ore. — U.S. Marshals in Oregon announced the arrest of a suspect in a 2016 South Carolina murder case.

John Tufton Blauvelt, a major case fugitive, was taken into custody in Medford, Oregon, on Wednesday, July 20, by U.S. Marshals and Medford Police following a lead from investigators working the cold case.

Blauvelt, 33, is wanted in the murder of his estranged wife, 22-year-old Catherine "Cati" Blauvelt, who was found stabbed to death in an abandoned home in Simpsonville, South Carolina, on October 24, 2016.

Cati Blauvelt's family had reported her missing on October 23 after failing to meet friends after work. She had been last seen leaving her job at a Greenville pet store around 2:15 p.m.

Simpsonville Police investigating the case were able to obtain a warrant for John Blauvelt's arrest for murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime on November 18, 2016.

John Blauvelt had worked as a US Army recruiter in Greenville County at the time of the murder but was classified as a deserter by the Army after fleeing the scene with his then 17-year-old girlfriend. He was last seen on November 15, 2016, in Las Cruces, New Mexico traveling with a female passenger.

US Marshals were able to track the couple through Alabama, Texas, and California. The teenage girlfriend was found safe in Oregon in December 2016, having been abandoned by Blauvelt, and returned home to her parents in Fountain Inn. The couple had been homeless while in Oregon.

The case gained national attention after it aired on an episode of In Pursuit with John Walsh in 2019.

In early 2022, a US Marshals' cold case team working with investigators from the District of South Carolina, the Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force, Simpsonville Police, South Carolina Highway Patrol, and the US Army Criminal Investigation Division were able to locate Blauvelt in Medford, Oregon. After six years, Blauvelt had assumed the alias Ben Klein.

A team consisting of personnel from the U.S. Marshals Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force in Oregon, the Medford Police Department, and the Jackson County Sheriff's Office were able to take Blauvelt into custody without incident.

Blauvelt is being held in the Jackson County Jail while awaiting extradition to South Carolina.

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