Army deserter charged with killing his wife in SC six years ago denied bond

·2 min read
Cati Blauvelt Facebook

A man who spent six years on the run after being questioned in the death of his estranged wife is back in Greenville County and was denied bond Thursday morning.

John Blauvelt was arrested last month in Medford, Oregon. He is charged with murder and possession of a weapon in the death of Cati Blauvelt, who was found stabbed in the basement of an abandoned house in Simpsonville in October 2016.

At a bond hearing Thursday, Blauvelt looked nothing like the man whose photo was circulated across the country over the last six years. He had his hair in a bun and had grown a full beard. He wore a red jail jumpsuit, wrists in handcuffs, ankles shackled.

U.S. Marshals and Medford police found Blauvelt after an investigation by a cold case team from the Marshals’ headquarters, the Marshals office said in a news release.

Blauvelt was an Army recruiter at the time of his wife’s death and after he fled he was considered a deserter.

Blauvelt was an immediate suspect in the death of his wife and was interviewed twice by Simpsonville Police. Before they could get a warrant, he was gone, on the run with a 17-year-old whose parents had reported him for holding parties with juveniles.

The teen called her family in December 2016 from Eugene, Oregon, and said Blauvelt had abandoned her.

The Blauvelts lived in a four-bedroom house in Fountain Inn, but Cati moved out when the parties started, her family told Unsolved Mysteries.

Blauvelt was arrested for domestic violence relating to an incident with his wife in which he held a gun to her head and contributing the delinquency of a minor.

Cati went to work at PetSmart in Simpsonville. That was the last place she was seen, Oct. 24, 2016.

Two friends found her body shortly after midnight Oct. 26 hidden under lumber in a rundown house in the woods just off Main Street in Simpsonville. People in town knew it as the “party house.”

The Marshals’ cold and complex case investigative team began investigating earlier this year.

Blauvelt was known in Medford as Ben Klein. He was arrested without incident, the Marshals Office said in a news release.