ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7/Gray News) - Roanoke police are searching for Michael Alexander Brown, who has a warrant out for his arrest in Franklin County in relation to the death of his mother's boyfriend. They are investigating the death as a homicide.
This image, taken from a surveillance camera from a local shop on Saturday, shows Michael Alexander Brown. (Franklin County Sheriff's Office)
All Roanoke City Schools were closed Thursday at the request of Roanoke Police. Schools will be open Friday on normal schedules, but police continue to urge people to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.
Roanoke City Police said late Thursday afternoon that the shelter in place order for the Grandin Road area near Patrick Henry High School has been lifted. They urge the public to lock vehicles and homes.
Police said their resources will remain in the Grandin and Tillett Road area until it is determined there is no longer a threat. State police are assisting with aerial searches.
Police are asking people to avoid travel in the immediate area of the search if possible.
Residents in the area of the search received a call and email Thursday morning to lock doors and shelter in place.
Early Thursday morning, the police department received a call about a possible sighting of Brown near Patrick Henry High School.
They urged the public to stay away from a nearby camper, possibly used by Brown, that was leaking propane.
They moved the propane, but treated the area as an active crime scene.
Investigators searched the camper for anything else that could be suspicious or dangerous.
Police said they believe Brown came to Roanoke because of family in the area.
They said Brown's grandmother's home is on Tillett Road, where a call came in about a sighting early Thursday morning. There have been no additional confirmed sightings since then.
Police speculated Brown may have been in South Carolina because of military friends, but these military members have been vetted. They believe Brown is operating on his own.
Police believe the general public is not in any grave danger, but emphasized people should be vigilant. People should not offer rides to strangers and should not leave cars unattended.
Brown is military-trained and knows how to navigate various types of terrain. There is a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the apprehension of Brown.
Brown is believed to be armed and dangerous and may use force. He is most likely traveling on foot.
He was last seen wearing a black coat.
Brown could be in Roanoke or in adjoining jurisdictions; police are unsure as of now.
Police believe he is seeking means of transportation because all of the vehicles he had access to have been contained. He also may be walking around the area or could be attempting to use a public transit service such as buses, taxis or Ubers.
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.
Those who see Michael Alexander Brown are asked to please call 1-877-926-8332 or 911.
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