Frederick russell

Frederick Russell

Real Name: Frederick David Russell
Aliases: No Known Aliases
Wanted For: Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Assault
Missing Since: October 26, 2001


Details: On the night of June 4, 2001, 22 year old Washington University junior Frederick Russell was seen drinking at a bar with a friend in Pullman, Washington, and they left in Russell's Chevy Blazer. The two men headed towards Moscow, Idaho, using State Road 270, a seven mile and two lane highway that connects the two college towns. At one point during the drive, Russell came upon a slow moving vehicle in front of him, and even though it was a no passing zone, he illegally tried to go around the car at nearly ninety miles per hour, then struck a Geo Prism going in the opposite direction, and then a Cadallic carrying seven college students. Three of those college students, Brandon Clements, Ryan Sorensen, and Stacy Morrow, were killed from the crash, while Matt Wagner and the other three students survived with serious injuries, while the occupants of the Prism, along with Russell and his friend, received only minor injuries.

Fred Russell Victims

(clockwise from top left) Brandon Clemens, Ryan Sorenson, Stacey Morrow, and Matt Wagner

Russell was taken to the local hospital, was put under arrest for vehicular homicide/assault, and his blood alcohol level was .12, over the legal limit of .08. Stacy Morrow's father Rich became the spokesperson for the victim's families and said that learning of his daughter's death was the worst moment of his life. According to Fred Russell's father Greg, Fred was very upset over the accident, but was released on just a $5,000 bond; the low amount was an insult to the families and friends of the victims according to Rich. Meanwhile, Greg claimed that his son was receiving several death threats, including one that claimed he would not live to spend time in prison. Public anger began to arise as Russell's defense prepared their case. First, they filed a motion that disputed the blood alcohol findings. Next, they began saying that Fred may have not been responsible for the accident and that the driver of the Cadallic may have been drinking and was responsible. There were court appearances all summer, and Russell attended them all, but on October 26, 2001, the day of the pre-trial hearing where Fred Russell was supposed to plead guilty to the charges, he did not show up, and had apparently fled the day earlier. Shortly after he vanished, Fred sent several letters to a local newspaper and to his father Greg, that, in part, said "I left because I had no choice. Since the first day after that tragic accident, horrible things have been printed about me. Now people are so enraged that they would rather see me dead than receive a fair trial. I maintain my innocence. But my life has been repeatedly threatened, so I cannot stay." Authorities believe that because his passport is missing, Russell may be in Canada or Costa Rica, or in the Western United States, and that someone is helping him stay on the run. The victim's family members just want Russell to turn himself in and face the charges.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the July 1, 2002 episode. Russell was also profiled on America’s Most Wanted.
Results: Captured. In October of 2005, Fred Russell was arrested in Ireland after a man recognized his picture after the US Marshals placed him on their most wanted list. In 2006, he was extradited back to the United States, in November of 2007 was convicted of vehicular homicide and assault, and was sentenced to 14 years and 3 months in prison. Russell was released in April of 2015.

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