Award Of Up To $50,000 For Facebook Murder Suspect
UPDATE (4/17/17 4:59 PM)
Authorities are now offering an award of up $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of Steve Stephens, the fugitive accused of killing 74-year-old Robert Godwin, Sr. Sunday afternoon. Cleveland Chief of Police Calvin Williams says they have followed up on hundreds of leads. School officials in Philadelphia closed schools there in response to at least one of those leads, but, according to Williams, it proved inaccurate.
Williams said they have not found Stephens' vehicle and have no reason to believe he has switched cars.
UPDATE (4/17/17 12:19 PM)
A manhunt is on for the suspect in the Sunday afternoon killing on Cleveland’s east side that was posted to Facebook has extended beyond Ohio’s borders.
Cleveland Police called for assistance from the F.B.I. and U.S. Marshals Service Sun. night to help with the search for Steve Stephens. He’s the 37-year-old suspect in what police believe to be the random killing of Robert Godwin Sr. in the Glenville neighborhood.
At a press conference Monday morning, law enforcement officials described a manhunt that included the search of dozens of locations. Peter Elliott is with the U.S. Marshals Service.
“We’re going to make this individual’s world very, very, very small. I’m very optimistic. I think things are going to happen and I believe things are going to happen pretty quickly," said U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott.
The case has received national attention because Stephens allegedly posted a video of the killing to Facebook and in a later post claimed to have killed more than a dozen others. Police said Monday they have found no other victims.
UPDATE (4/17/17 12 PM)
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams says law enforcement spoke to the suspect early on in the investigation. “We did have contact with him, direct contact with our detectives. They tried to, of course, convince him to turn himself in and, of course, that hasn't happened to date.”
Police say the suspect does not have a criminal record but had some traffic violations.
The search has included dozens of locations, according to police at a Monday morning press conference, but Stephens remains at large.
UPDATE (4/17/17 1:00 AM)
An aggravated murder warrant has been issued for the 37 year old suspect in a homicide posted on Facebook. Police are asking neighboring states to be on alert for Steve Stephens.
Cleveland police earlier stated that the murder was broadcast on Facebook Live. A spokesperson for Facebook tells NPR the video was uploaded, though Stephens went live at one point.
The suspect in a homicide posted on Facebook remains at large.
Police issued an “armed and dangerous” alert after Steve Stephens appeared to have killed an elderly man around 2 in the afternoon on Easter in the Glenville neighborhood at East 93rd Street. Police Chief Calvin Williams says the 74 year old male victim -- Robert Godwin Sr -- does not seem to have a connection to the suspect.
“From what we can tell now, it’s just a random person he picked out. We don’t know why but, again, it’s senseless. There’s no need for this gentleman to lose his life.”
The suspect said that he had committed multiple additional murders but police have not verified the claim. Chief Williams says there are no additional victims at this time.
Cleveland police are working with county and state law enforcement as well as the FBI.
Police describe Stephens as 6'1", 244 lbs, bald with a full beard, driving a white Ford Fusion with temporary tag E363630.