MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – The Marines consider him a deserter, police consider him a murder suspect, and after eight days of searching, there are still no confirmed sightings of Michael Brown since that search moved back to the Roanoke area.
“We have no credible information at this time as a sighting to Mr. Brown but we continue to follow each and every lead that is submitted either by tip or developed,” Matt Davis, Acting Chief Deputy, US Marshals Service, said.
The hunt for the 22-year-old expanded to the New River Valley late Saturday night into Sunday morning after a possible sighting in the area but crews did not find Brown.
“Some individuals around the 109 mile marker may have seen Mr. Brown, again we’re just exercising due diligence in following up on those leads, there is no credible sighting at this point until such time when we are able to vet the leads,” Davis said. “It’s one of the first few that have indicated that the individuals believe that it truly was Mr. Brown but again we have not confirmed that.”
Brown is accused of killing his mother’s live in boyfriend in the Hardy area of Franklin County last Saturday.
Virginia State Police Troopers and SWAT, with federal agents, swarmed the Interstate 81 rest stops in the Radford area. The Virginia Department of Transportation activated electronic signs in the area asking drivers to keep an eye out, while dozens of police cruisers were visible up and down the Interstate between the northern Radford interstate exit and the New River. Officers also searched the wooded areas around the rest stop.
Around 1:30 a.m. Sunday crews scaled back the search in the area around the rest stops, but said they are still covering all leads. Federal agents were in a Union Hall neighborhood on Smith Mountain Lake Saturday afternoon, and on Tillett Road, where Brown’s Grandmother’s house is, the Murray Run Greenway and the Hollins neighborhood, all in Roanoke city, on Friday. Police had Roanoke’s Grandin Village on a shelter in place order while they searched Thursday, and raided Brown’s grandmother’s house Thursday night. Brown’s RV had been discovered early that morning after someone called police for a suspicious person tapping outside Brown’s grandmother’s house tapping on the window.
Davis said numerous local, state and federal officials are working together to arrest Brown, and that the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office remains the lead.
“There have been multiple tips that have indicated persons have possibly seen individuals," Davis said. "But seeing Mr. Brown and confirmation of it, we don’t have that.”