'Most Wanted' Fugitive Sought For 2005 Murder Posts Wedding Photo on Social Media
This fugitive should have thought twice before uploading a wedding photo to social media, two years after he was declared one of America's Most Wanted.
On Monday, U.S. Marshals released a wedding photo of Jihad Amir Ramadan, 30, that was posted to a close friend's Myspace account in 2007 — two years after he was accused of fatally stabbing 20-year-old Byron "BJ" Bryant of Texas.
The photo appears to be from Ramadan's own wedding, and officials believe the woman pictured in the photo is his wife. Ramadan may have gotten married while he was on the run, authorities said in a statement.
"We're confident based on the age progression that it matches," Deputy U.S. Marshal Chris Leuer told InsideEdition.com. "[Ramadan] has a lot of ties to the Caribbean. It's possible [his wife is] from down there."
The U.S. Marshals released the photo Monday in hopes that someone can identify the woman. While she's not a suspect in the investigation, the U.S. Marshals Services is offering up to $2,500 for information leading to Ramadan's arrest.
Leuer said they believe the person who posted the image to Myspace is very close to the family. Additionally, at least one person from Ramadan's immediate family was present at the wedding, which officials believe to have been held in either New York or New Jersey, where Ramadan's family has ties.
According to records, Ramadan, whose last known address was in New Rochelle, New York, was born Justin Faustin, and his name was legally changed by family members. Officials now believe he may have taken on a new identity. There's "a strong possibility he is in the Caribbean," Leuer said.
"Two young men were lost that day," Bryant's mother, Cheryl Pitts-Bryant told InsideEdition.com. "My son never to return."
Pitts-Bryant said her son, who was the classmate of Ramadan at Hampton University in Virginia at the time, was studying business, and hoping to go into a career in law.
She said she was told by eyewitnesses to the scene that Bryant and his roommate were at a gathering off campus when her Texan son was surrounded by a group of young men from New York.
Bryant was stabbed, his carotid artery was severed, and he bled to death on the operating table, his mother recalled. He was 20 years old at the time.
"I don't believe [Jihad] went out and said, 'I'm going to kill somebody' that day," Pitts-Bryant said. "[But] he needs to know that we're still looking for him and that he's not going to get to live this life of freedom."
Pitts-Bryant said that although it has been 11 years since her son's passing in 2005, her son's friends from the time still make routine visits to her home in Houston on his birthday, or the anniversary of his death.
"They take me to lunch, they bring me flowers. They stuck with me all these years, and have been so kind and loving," she said. "They're all my kids."
As Bryant's cousins, friends, and even former girlfriend are becoming engaged, married, and having children, Pitts-Bryant said she can't help but imagine the life her own son would have led: "This would have been the kind of thing my son would have done. Our son would not have that opportunity."
Anyone with more information about Ramadan's whereabouts is encouraged to contact the U.S. Marshals communication center at 1-800-336-0102.