Dateline   |  March 25, 2013

'The Fugitive', Part 1

Chris Hansen reports on the investigation into the death of Keith Palomares,  a 24 year old armored truck courier. 

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> ten-most wanted list.

>> he's a surfer dude . a former eagle scout . a mormon missionary and a suspected killer.

>> did you believe he was capable of doing something like that?

>> no.

>> tonight, join the hunt as the f.b.i. searches for one of its ten-most fugitives.

>> he hits the road.

>> he's a ghost.

>> and then, keep your eyes open . because this guy could be hide ing anywhere.

>> i don't think i've ever seen anybody like this.

>> chris hansen on "the trail of the fugitive."

>> it reads like a litany of the nation's most notorious criminals. the f.b.i. 's ten most-wanted list from james earl ray to ted bundy . today, it is populated with accused murderers, drug traffickers and child pornographers.

>> most of these folks have committed more than one crime, more than one very serious crime. rapes and murders. so these are very dangerous people .

>> the task of finding those fugitives falls to this man. the assistant director of the f.b.i. 's criminal investigation unit. almost 500 criminals have made the most wanted list. and, for most of them, that was the beginning of the end .

>> we've cleared 466 of those. not all of those are by arrest. some of those are in custody. they've turned up dead. but 94% clearance rate is a tremendous, tremendously successful program.

>> but it's the other 6% that keep the agents up at night.

>> a wily fugitive can present a significant challenge to us.

>> and even amid the top ten list enpsych low paid ya of criminality, even one fugitive stands out. you might know him and not realize it. he may live across town, down the block or even closer . if you know where to find him, the f.b.i. could make it worth your while. this fugitive's catch me if you can story, began on the kind of day that makes wintering in phoenix look appealing.

>> it's a really quiet community. and when it happened, we heard it was alatucki it was pretty surprising.

>> what happened that surprised and shocked everyone here happened shortly after 10:00 a.m . on november 29th , 2004 . monday after thanksgiving weekend. an armored car made its way to the multi-plex theater to pick up the holiday weekend box office . the driver pulled up in front of the emc, his partner, robert keith palamarez walked into the theater. he picked up the cash from a manager, signed a receipt for the $56,000 and headed back out to the truck. before the courier reached the safety of his fortified vehicle, six gunshots shattered the mall's morning quiet. the gunman snatched the moneybag. a security camera captured a glimpse of him dropping the bag and then picking it up before he bolted into an alley, jumped onto a bicycle and raced away leaving him bleeding on the paverment. witnesses reach for their cell phone.

>> the armor's truck's driver who didn't see the shooting called his office and said inside the truck.

>> when paramedics arrive moments later, they could do nothing for the man on the ground. keith's life was cut short and his young wife widowed. his violent death confirmed his mother's worst fears about the dangers of his job.

>> this man, taken my life, my heart, my joy, my reason of living, my son.

>> keith's brother, derrick, got a call.

>> she was just hysterically crying. she told me that your brother was shot and killed.

>> right in this kitchen where we're sitting?

>> yes. i fell to my knees. i could not even hold myself up.

>> growing up, derrick idolized his older brother.

>> he taugt me how to play baseball, charismatic, full of life, loving, caring. very protective.

>> the killing that shattered the family was also the beginning of an incredible man hunt.

>> we get the call of a shooting at the amc theaters .

>> veter ran phoenix homicide investigator called the case.

>> our detectives went out there and called the fbi and started the investigation.

>> there was little to start with. more witnesses had heard than seen the shooting.

>> the few eyewitnesss they could find were seen on a mountain bike .

>> he was like pedaling hard, just too hard to be getting across the street.

>> the killer now had the f.b.i. on his trail because armored car theft is a federal offense . the f.b.i. 's lead agent, this was more than just another robbery.

>> desperation caused people to do crazy things.

>> people in phoenix were horrified by the killing. dave sislack covered the story for the public.

>> this was a different kind of event. a guy simply trying to do his job was taken out for no reason. the community was upset and they wanted answers.

>> the f.b.i. 's search would put them on the trail of a most unlikely fugitive. a fugitive who agents would learn began life as that nice boy next door, an athlete, eagle scout and religious missionary but who grew up to be a conman and an accused killer. a path that would put him on the f.b.i. 's most-wanted list.

>>> coming up, investigators get a huge break when they find the bike the suspected killer used to escape. there's a fingerprint on it. and it's a picture that tells a chilling story.

>> you can see the smirk on jason's face. it's an interesting shot. he's purchasing the instrument he's going to use