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Search continues in Roanoke for Marine linked to murder

Photos provided by FBI
Photos provided by FBI(WHSV)
Published: Nov. 14, 2019 at 10:23 AM EST
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UPDATE (1:30 p.m.):

In the latest news conference by the Roanoke Police Department, officials said they believe family is what drew Michael Brown, the Marine who abandoned his post at Camp Lejeune and is believed to be responsible for killing his mother's boyfriend, to Roanoke.

Police said Brown's grandmother lives on Tillett Road, where a call came in about a sighting of Brown early Thursday morning.

Police believe the general public is not in any grave danger, but emphasized that people should be vigilant. Don't offer rides to strangers and don't leave cars unattended.

He is still believed to be armed and dangerous, as well as military-trained, and may use force. Police believe he is most likely travelling on foot after abandoning an RV near a church.

They say he had been hauling a trailer carrying a car with the RV, but abandoned the trailer and the car inside in South Carolina earlier this week.

Brown could be in the city of Roanoke or in adjoining jurisdictions; police are unsure as of now.

There have been pleas from a local lawyer - who has pledged to represent Brown - as well as family, urging him to turn himself in. Police also offered to meet him somewhere. They hope the situation will be resolved peacefully.

Officials said their resources will remain in the Grandin and Tillet Road area of Roanoke until it is determined there is no longer a threat. State police are assisting with aerial searches. U.S. Marshals and the FBI are also on scene.

Brown is described as a white man standing 6-feet tall, weighing 145 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. If you see him, contact 911 immediately.

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The FBI, U.S. Marshals, Virginia State Police, and local authorities are actively searching for Michael Alexander Brown in southwest Virginia.

Brown is a Marine who deserted his post at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina last month and

around the time his mother's boyfriend, 54-year-old Rodney Brown, was killed there.

He was then declared a person of interest in the murder case of Rodney Brown and now, a warrant has been issued for his arrest in Franklin County.

On Thursday morning, Roanoke City Police announced that schools were closed for the day due to the area Brown was believed to be in.

Around 4 a.m., police received a call from the area around Tillett Road, not far from Patrick Henry High School, about a possible sighting of Brown.

Due to the convenience of school property nearby, police are using it as a staging area for their search.

They've asked all neighborhood within a half-mile radius of the 2100 block of Grandin Road SW to shelter in place until further notice.

Brown is considered armed and dangerous. The US Marshals are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

He's described as a white man standing 6-feet tall, weighing 145 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair.

If you see him, call 911 immediately.

Police on Thursday morning were called to the scene of an RV near St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Grandin Village that they believe Brown had been staying inside. The Franklin County Sheriff's Office had gotten a report on the evening of Nov. 12 that Brown may be driving an RV and pulling an enclosed trailer in South Carolina.

The trailer was later found abandoned on the side of a road in Clarendon County, South Carolina, with a black Lincoln Town Car inside.

The RV was found Thursday morning in Roanoke.

The public was initially urged to stay away from that area due to concern over propane leaking from tanks connected to that RV. The propane has since been removed, but the area remains an active crime scene with police searching for anything suspicious or dangerous.

State Police believe they've contained any vehicles Brown could have used to escape the area, so he's likely searching for other means of transportation, possibly on foot in Roanoke and looking for public transportation.

He's military-trained and knows how to navigate various types of terrain, according to police.

If you see him, call 911 immediately.

Roanoke City Police are asking for Brown to turn himself in peacefully. Roanoke County Police do not believe their residents should have any safety concerns, but they are assisting in the search.

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