Roanoke closes schools as authorities search for Marine deserter wanted in murder case

Virginia

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — Authorities have closed all the city schools in Roanoke, Virginia, and warned people to lock their doors after spotting a vehicle linked to a Marine deserter who is wanted for questioning in a murder case.

Roanoke Police Chief Tim Jones said at a news conference Thursday morning that officers got a call about a suspicious person near Patrick Henry High School. The chief said a recreational vehicle Michael Alexander Brown had been driving was found nearby.

Police say he was trying to reach out to his grandmother when he was spotted by a neighbor early Thursday.

In this undated image released by the Franklin County (Va.) Sheriff’s Office, U. S. Marine Michael Alexander Brown is shown. Roanoke Police Chief Tim Jones has closed all the city schools in Roanoke, Va. Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, and warned people to lock their doors after spotting a vehicle linked to Brown, a Marine deserter who is wanted for questioning in a murder case. (Franklin County (Va.) Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Later Thursday, authorities warned the public to stay away from the area around St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Grandin Village because of the potential for leaking propane connected to the camper. The Roanoke Times reported that police repeatedly rammed the camper, parked in the church’s lot, but Brown was not inside.

Photos showed the vehicle with severe damage on one side.

Police examine a stolen RV after ramming it multiple times with an armored vehicle while searching for a Marine deserter who is wanted for questioning in a murder case, in Roanoke, Va. (AP Photo/Don Petersen)

Jones said Brown is considered armed and dangerous. He may be looking for another mode of transportation or could be walking around in the area.

Brown is wanted for questioning in the death of his mother’s boyfriend, 54-year-old Rodney Brown.

Authorities say the Marine deserted his post last month at Camp Lejeune.

The Richmond branch of the FBI said Brown is 6 feet tall, 145 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair.

Sightings should be reported immediately to the FBI at 804-261-1044 or by calling 911.

Get updates as they come in at WFXR.com.

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