Lamont Stephenson Captured! Olga 'Ivy' DeJesus’ High School Reunion Spawned A Deadly Matchup
Lamont Stephenson is on the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted List and should be considered armed and dangerous.
UPDATE (MARCH 11, 2019):
On March 7, 2019, the Prince George's County Police say that FBI Top 10 Most Wanted fugitive Lamont Stephenson was captured in Maryland. Stephenson has been running since 2014 when agents say he's accused of allegedly killing a woman and her dog.
ORIGINAL STORY (FEBRUARY 13, 2019):
NEWARK, NJ — Olga DeJesus was known to be hard-working and outgoing. The mother of one was known best for her laugh and infectious personality, and always making time for others. Popular with friends and family, DeJesus didn’t turn down an opportunity to have a good time. Over the years, according to her friends, the single mom often dated and was looking for her Mr. Right.
DeJesus’ cousin Johanna Renaud remembers, “I wanted her to be able to meet that good guy. Not that they were bad, but when I didn’t see that in the guy, I would be quick to let her know. But she didn’t care what anybody else said, and she would just go with what she wanted to do.”
At the age of 22, DeJesus became pregnant, eventually giving birth to a beautiful little girl named Kassandra. “DeJesus was a partier. She loved going out and she loved music, but she wanted so much more for Kassandra,” Renaud says. The new mother began to settle down, and friends and boyfriends took a back seat to her daughter.
Kassandra reveals the close relationship she had with her mom: “So, growing up, being that it was just my mother and I, we were best friends. And it was like a dynamic duo, in a sense. Like, whatever she was doing, I would know about it, or I would be there right with her.”
HIGH SCHOOL REUNION
As Kassandra grew up, DeJesus began to venture out again and meet new people. In 2013, she attended her 20th high school reunion, which turned out to be a game changer when she reconnected with classmate Lamont Stephenson.
In the beginning, their attraction was innocent. Friend Arlene Martinez says that, "Lamont reached out to her through Facebook messenger. He liked her pictures from the reunion. And they started talking on the phone. They started dating. They started going to dinners.”
The relationship between DeJesus and Stephenson blossomed, but those close to her knew he didn’t seem like her type. Lamont was quiet and shy; Olga was loud and outgoing.
Kassandra remembers meeting Stephenson for the first time: “I knew he worked at Pep Boys. He was very religious, but I really didn’t know a lot about him. I personally thought Lamont was different from other men my mother dated, because he was eager to get to know me.”
To everyone who knew DeJesus, this relationship with this new man seemed different. She was posting about their budding romance on Facebook and bragging to her friends, telling people that her new beau was bringing her flowers and taking her to dinner. Stephenson legitimately seemed like a positive match.
“The relationship between my mother and Lamont, it progressed fairly fast. I met him in like November and, by February of the year coming, he was already moving in,” Kassandra remembers. Although things progressed quickly, Kassandra knew she was graduating high school that year and her mother wanted to be in a relationship. “I kind of just didn’t really let it get to me because I knew eventually, I wasn’t going to be there. And if this was what my mother needs for her relationship to grow, then I was up for it,” Kassandra adds.
LAMONT POPS THE QUESTION
On DeJesus’ 40th birthday, Lamont made a bold decision to take their relationship to the next level. “Lamont came out of the kitchen and popped the question with the ring,” Kassandra remembers. “She went ahead and accepted.”
Although DeJesus was over the moon and Kassandra was accepting of this newfound love, others in her life were anxious. Her brother Felix remembers that Stephenson never spoke about his family to any of them. Renaud says, “I got a little concerned because I thought it was a little too fast. I haven’t even met the guy yet.”
Martinez remembers that DeJesus’ list of wedding guests was, “three times bigger than his. I asked her why. Her answer was, ‘well he doesn’t have friends and he doesn’t keep in touch with his family.’” It was a red flag, but no one was stopping [her] from walking down the isle.”
As Olga planned the wedding of her dreams, Kassandra graduated high school and headed off to college. She says her relationship with her mom became even stronger when she was away at school, “In the morning, I would wake up and see a text message from her. At lunchtime, she would text me. She would call me around five o’clock. And then she would call me once more before she went to bed.”
But, instead of growing stronger in her love for Stephenson, DeJesus’ intuition was kicking in. She began to think he was being less than truthful on a number of fronts.
Martinez remembers when, “She reached out to me, she said, ‘I need you to call Lamont’s job, because I have a feeling, he’s not at work.’” Sure enough, she called and Lamont’s work said he wasn’t there.
A ROUTINE NIGHT OUT TURNS DEADLY
October 16, 2014, everything appeared to be normal on the surface. Felix remembers that his sister posted on Facebook, and Kassandra spoke to her mother. They were excited to see each other the coming weekend. The last thing DeJesus said to Kassandra was, “You know I love you, right? Talk tomorrow.”
The next day, no one heard from DeJesus. Her normal texts to Kassandra were absent. She began calling family, friends and even Stephenson.
Martinez phone Stephenson’s workplace out of concern, and learned something troubling. “About three o’clock, I called,” she said. “And the young lady that picked up the call says, ‘Oh no, he doesn’t work here anymore.’”
Kassandra returned from school and met Martinez at DeJesus’ apartment. Immediately when they opened the door and Lola the dog didn’t come running, they both knew something was terribly wrong. “I kept calling my dog’s name… ‘Lola, Lola, I’m here,’ and I didn’t get no response from her. I opened the door, and I basically ran over to my dog, and I know she wasn’t breathing. She was lying in her bed, and she was gone.”
Kassandra called her cousin, who is a retired corrections officer. As he helped search the apartment, he made a horrifying discovery — DeJesus’ lifeless body, in her bedroom. Kassandra remembers, “I screamed and dropped down to the floor on my knees, and I kind of lost it.”
Martinez remembers, “That evening, when everybody was at the scene and everybody was being questioned … Lamont was nowhere in sight.”
DETECTIVES CALLED TO THE SCENE
Sergeant Paul Ranges with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office tells In Pursuit, “October 17, 2014, I received a call from Newark Police Department about a suspicious death. The deceased had a boyfriend at the time, and he was nowhere to be found. So they were requesting our assistance. I walked into the apartment; I was met by my detectives; they gave me a walk through. They told me that there was no signs of forced entry to the apartment. There was no signs of a struggle whatsoever.”
Ranges said the medical examiner arrived and found hemorrhaging inside DeJesus’ eyes and bruising around her neck, “which is often associated with strangling or smothering,” Ranges adds. He continued, “When we see homicide by strangulation, it’s got to be something personal. It comes out of anger. Something must have set him off. He must’ve went into some type of rage. We don’t know why.”
And to kill the dog? “It’s like a slap in the face to the family,” Ranges says. Reports say the dog was also asphyxiated and left for dead.
Based on cell phone activity and surveillance, Stephenson seemed to be in the area of Stephen Crane Village on October 17 (in the early morning hours). He was seen getting onto a light rail to Newark Penn Station. Later that morning, police say he was seen hopping on a bus heading south.
“There were numerous leads leading to him being down south in the Carolinas or Virginia. Due to our abilities to go from state to state … as well as international, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office requested our assistance in helping them with their case,” FBI Supervisory Special Agent Carl Priddy says. According to the FBI, when Stephenson was seen on surveillance video at Newark’s Penn Station, he was acting calmly and showed “no outward signs of anxiety.”
THE JOURNEY AHEAD
It’s been a long road, but family and friends aren’t giving up hope that the fugitive can be found, and justice will be served. Kassandra, who is now studying for her Master’s degree, says, “I grew up on trying to fulfill my mothers’ dreams. Because this tragedy — I didn’t let it define me. I just used it as my biggest motivation in everything I do.”
Stephenson, who has no criminal history (and therefore no fingerprints on file), is wanted for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. He’s also charged with homicide by the state of New Jersey in Essex County. The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward on for information leading to his capture. A motive in this case has not been revealed.
TRAITS & CHARACTERISTICS:
- Weight: 220 pounds
- Height: 5’6” to 5’7”
- Age: 43
- Sex: Male
- Race: Black
- Eyes: Brown
- Hair: Black (or bald)
- Tattoos/scars: None
- Date of birth used: April 3, 1975
- Place of birth: New Jersey
- May have joined a church or religious community
- Has four children from previous relationships
If you know anything about this case or where Lamont Stephenson is hiding out, please call our hotline (833) 3-PURSUE or submit a tip online.
For more on this case, watch the “Deadly Reunion” episode of In Pursuit With John Walsh on Wednesday, February 13 at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery! Or catch up on ID GO.