The U.S. Marshals Service announced today the capture Tuesday of convicted cop killer and child molester Paul Clouston in Merced, Calif., following a viewer tip to the "America's Most Wanted" television program. A native of Pennsylvania, Clouston, 73, was added to the U.S. Marshals list of 15 most wanted fugitives Nov. 30, 2006.
Information on Clouston's potential whereabouts was passed from the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force - Richmond Division, to the U.S. Marshals Central Valley Joint Fugitive Task Force in Fresno, Calif. This information indicated Clouston had been working as a maintenance man in a group home in Merced the past four years.
U.S. Marshals Service investigators, along with task force officers from the Merced County Sheriff's Office and the California Department of Corrections, went to the group home and observed a man resembling Clouston seated in a chair and reading a newspaper. They approached and identified the man, placing him into custody without incident.
"The capture of Paul Clouston is a testament to the effectiveness of our 15 most wanted list and the partnerships we maintain with other law enforcement agencies. It also speaks volumes to the value of someone doing the right thing and reporting a suspicious individual," said John F. Clark, director of the U.S. Marshals Service. "Taking this predator off the streets and returning him to justice was a priority, and I hope his capture helps bring some closure to his victims."
Clouston was wanted by the U.S. Marshals for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, by the Virginia State Police for failing to register as a sex offender, and by the Virginia Division of Probation and Parole for alleged violations of his parole on a conviction for the armed sexual assault of a child.
Clouston was convicted in 1973 on second degree murder charges for the 1972 murder of a police detective in Buena Park, Calif., and was released from prison in 1982. He was indicted on 17 counts of sexually abusing children in the Williamsburg, Va., area in 1991, pleaded guilty to seven of the 17 charges, and was returned to prison. Paroled in 2005, Clouston absconded after failing to register as a sex offender with the Commonwealth of Virginia.