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Virginia City Closes Schools As Police Hunt Marine Deserter Wanted For Questioning In Murder Case

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Authorities closed all public schools in Roanoke, Virginia, on Thursday as police hunt for a Marine deserter wanted for questioning in a murder case.

The Roanoke Police Department received a phone call around 4 a.m. Thursday concerning a sighting of the 22-year-old suspect, Michael Alexander Brown, near a local high school, Police Chief Tim Jones said during a press conference.

Police suspect Brown was involved in the homicide of his mother’s boyfriend last week, Jones said during the conference.

Jones added that the U.S. Marshall service is offering a $10,000 reward for information that could lead to Brown’s arrest, and said multiple jurisdictions are involved in the search for the suspect, who is “considered to be armed and dangerous.”

Authorities also said Brown could have access to a high-powered firearm and is a frequent national park visitor, meaning he might be hiding in the woods, according to CNN.

“He is navigationally savvy,” Jones said. “He knows how to move around. He’s not afraid to change his location. He’s not afraid to change his look.”

The FBI also tweeted information about the search and $10,000 reward Thursday morning.

“WANTED: HOMICIDE (Franklin Co., VA, Sheriff’s Office). [FBI Richmond and U.S. Marshalls] pursue MICHAEL ALEXANDER BROWN, considered armed [and] dangerous! USMS offers $10K reward for info leading to his location & arrest. Brown is a WM, 6′, 145 lbs w/ blue eyes [and] brown hair. Call 911,” FBI Richmond wrote.

Brown deserted his post at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina in October, CNN reported, citing police. (RELATED: Air Force Deserter Found And Arrested After Over Three Decades)

The search for Brown comes after the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shooting call Nov. 9. Brown’s mother also called police when she found her boyfriend’s body in his home, authorities said.

Jones said during the conference that the Roanoke Police Department’s investigation so far has been “seamless.”

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