Search for Suspect in Facebook Homicide Video Widens to 5 States

Search for Suspect in Facebook Homicide Video Widens to 5 States

Cleveland, Ohio (CNN)A man who allegedly killed an elderly father after he had enjoyed an Easter meal with his children -- then posted a video of the killing on Facebook -- may no longer be in the Cleveland area, police said Monday.

Suspect Steve Stephens, 37, stands charged with Sunday's aggravated murder of 74-year-old Robert Godwin, and authorities say he could be in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana or Michigan.

    Stephens' cell phone last released a "ping," or a signal, in Erie, Pennsylvania, about 100 miles east of Cleveland, police said.

    His mother told CNN that when she saw Stephens for the last time on Saturday, he said it would be a miracle if she ever saw him again. They spoke the next day, she said, and he told her he was shooting people because he was angry with his girlfriend.

    "He is considered armed and dangerous, so we want people to be careful out there," Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams told reporters.

    Stephens is a black male who is 6-foot-1 and weighs 244 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark blue and gray or black striped polo shirt. He was driving a white Ford Fusion with temporary license plates, Cleveland police said.

    Police said Sunday night that Stephens "may be out of state at this time," and called on residents in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan to be vigilant.

    Horrific footage

    The investigation and search for Stephens began Sunday after several people reported an alarming Facebook post, police union president Steve Loomis said

    Stephens uploaded a video to his Facebook page showing a gun pointed at a man's head. The gun is fired. The victim recoils and falls to the ground.

    The video was posted around 2 p.m. Sunday. Facebook later took it down, calling it prohibited "content."

    "We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

    Stephens claimed on Facebook that he committed multiple homicides, but police said they have no knowledge of other victims.

    As Cleveland police and the FBI were searching for Stephens on Sunday, more than 300 tips poured into the department, police said.

    No confirmed sightings of Stephens were reported as the search moved into Monday.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/17/us/cleveland-facebook-homicide-video/

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