Murder-case fugitive arrested on Key West Navy base

Jacqueline Rutherford-Brown
Jacqueline Rutherford-Brown

A woman wanted for murder in Chicago was arrested last week at a Navy base in Key West where she was living with her husband, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Jacqueline Rutherford-Brown, 23, remained locked up in the county jail on Stock Island awaiting extradition to Chicago.

She is accused of stabbing a man to death during a robbery attempt at a party in 2013.

It’s unclear exactly how long Rutherford-Brown has been on the run from a murder charge.

Chicago police issued a warrant charging her with first-degree murder on March 29 and had a possible address for her in Virginia, saying she fled the Illinois city sometime after the 2013 stabbing.

Rutherford-Brown, who also goes by the name Jackie Brown, was discovered living at the Sigsbee Park naval base in Key West by U.S. marshals in Chicago who alerted federal agents in Key West.

She was arrested Wednesday without incident after local police and federal agents entered a room at the Sigsbee Navy Base Lodge, 4114 Arthur Sawyer Road.

The lodge is temporary housing for military families awaiting assignment to a family housing unit on base.

“They have been there since mid-March,” said Trice Denny, spokeswoman for the Key West Naval Air Station. “Her husband is an enlisted sailor stationed at Navy Munitions Command Detachment Key West.”

Rutherford-Brown isn’t in the Navy nor did she work for the Navy, said Denny, who would not release the husband’s name.

“He isn’t under suspicion for anything and was not arrested,” Denny said.

Housing officials on the base told federal officials Rutherford-Brown didn’t come out of the room very often, according to Barry Golden, senior inspector with the U.S. Marshals Service in South Florida.

“They saw her only a few times,” Golden said. “She stayed inside the room a lot.”

Deputy marshals, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and Key West police assisted with the arrest.

The body of Ismael Rangel, 38, was found Sept. 10, 2013, at a home in the 6000 block of South Kolmar Avenue in Chicago, according to reports in the Chicago Tribune.

When Rangel resisted during the robbery, Rutherford-Brown and an unidentified accomplice stabbed him, the Marshals Service said.

Rangel’s death was initially blamed on a head trauma but an autopsy later showed he died from being stabbed in his upper body.