Former Marine sought in nationwide search as part of murder investigation

Former Marine sought in nationwide search as part of murder investigation
Michael Alexander Brown (Source: Colleton County Sheriff's Office)

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ/WHSV/WIS) — 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 was later spotted in Franklin County 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.

He was seen on Wednesday in a black 2008 Lincoln Town Car in Clarendon County but is now believed to be driving an RV.

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 neighborhoods 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 U.S. 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 also 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 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.

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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