A dangerous South Burlington man wanted on a murder charge after allegedly gunning down the mother of their three children has been placed on the nation’s 15 Most Wanted List by the United States Marshals Service.
The reward for Leroy A. Headley, 38, also has been bumped to $25,000 and officials hope this will finally bring some closure to the international manhunt that began with the May 3, 2018, homicide, Deputy U.S. Marshal Michael S. Barron of Burlington said.
The reward had been $10,000.
Headley is charged with fatally shooting his domestic partner, Anako “Annette” Lumumba, 33, in their home on Southview Drive off Hinesburg Road in South Burlington.
It was shortly after the killing that South Burlington Police said they received a phone call, at about 6:25 p.m. that evening from the Falmouth, Mass., Police Department. Headley’s brother, Onel, had gone to the Falmouth police to report that his brother had told him about the shooting back home.
South Burlington Police responding to the duplex found Lumumba dead inside in a pool of blood at about 6:30 p.m. Lumumba, a licensed practical nurse, died from a single gunshot wound to the head, said South Burlington Police Sgt. Chris Bataille, the lead homicide investigator.
Bataille also reported a separate 911 call, received from a man identifying himself as Headley, reporting he had shot his girlfriend at the address in South Burlington. “I shoot my girlfriend. I think she die,” the transcript indicated.
Bataille said officials used GPS to determine that the 911 call was made from Moretown, about 40 miles southeast of South Burlington.
The next day police obtained an arrest warrant for second-degree murder, Bataille said. Records show Headley has a lengthy and violent criminal record, officials said.
At the time of Lumumba’s shooting, Headley was free on court-ordered conditions of release, stemming from a charge of sexual assault of a minor, police said.
City police asked for tracking help from the U.S. Marshals Service – the nation’s oldest law enforcement agency – which has as a primary focus locating fugitives.
“Leroy Headley’s alleged crimes have earned him a spot on this exclusive list we reserve for fugitives we consider the worst of the worst,” said Donald Washington, the director of the U.S. Marshals Service.
“We want his elevation to 15 Most Wanted to send a message that our investigation to find him is a top priority. We will use every available resource to bring him to justice,” Washington said in a prepared statement.
Headley should be considered armed and dangerous, the marshals service said.
Bataille has said law enforcement believes Headley is not in Vermont. Investigators believe he could be using friends – including some from Vermont – to provide him cash and other resources to help him elude capture.
Helping a wanted felon from arrest is a federal crime.
Headley made a $5,000 cash withdrawal from the Vermont Federal Credit Union near Midas Muffler just before the 2018 shooting, then-Police Chief Trevor Whipple told The Other Paper. Authorities said Headley first fled to Albany, N.Y. His 2017 blue Nissan Pathfinder was found abandoned May 18 on Sherman Street in Albany.
The marshals have called him a “modern-day Casanova” and there is some thought that he has taken up with a woman who might be unaware of his true identity or that he is wanted for murder.
Headley frequents dating sites and has a track record of womanizing, which may help him hide in plain sight as he forms relationships with innocent women, the U.S. Marshals Service said.
Headley, also known as “Lee,” has personal ties in Westmoreland, Jamaica – where he was born – and also the towns of Negril and Belvedere in Jamaica, Barron said.
He also has ties in Las Vegas, parts of Massachusetts, including Falmouth and Florida. He could have associates in Montreal and Toronto, Canada, the U.S. Marshals said.
Barron has said the marshals have the ability to track Headley internationally.
Authorities said Headley could be using one of his several aliases, including Lee Hadley, Lee Hadly, Lee Headly and Derrick Pitts. He is a black male, 5-foot-6, 170 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He has a slight Jamaican accent. Due to the length of his disappearance, he may be sporting a shaved head or dreadlocks.
Large roadside billboards with a color photograph of Headley have been posted out of state in certain areas that investigators believe he might be hiding, Barron has said.
“The senseless taking of Anako Lumumba’s life has had a devastating impact on her family and the region – his apprehension remains a top priority,” Brad LaRose, the U.S. Marshal for Vermont, said.
“Not only was Anako a loving mother, she was a nurse who devoted her life to helping others,” LaRose said. The Marshals Service will continue to pursue all leads, but also needs help from the public with any possible tips, he said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the U.S. Marshals at 202-307-9100. Tips also may be made to the U.S. Marshals at 1-877-Wanted-2 (1-877-926-8332) or by email email@example.com.