The mother of a missing U.S. Marine and murder suspect was a witness to a fatal shooting in Franklin County and saw him flee, sparking an intensive manhunt that descended on the Raleigh Court neighborhood in Roanoke early Thursday, federal authorities say.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Marshals, the woman identified her son, Michael Alexander Brown, as a suspect in the case.
The complaint, which charges Brown with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, was filed as federal officials joined a search for the 22-year-old that continued Friday.
Franklin County authorities have charged Brown with killing his mother’s boyfriend, Rodney Wilfred Brown, last Saturday at a home on Woodthrush Circle in Hardy.
The next day, Michael Brown’s mother told authorities she was a witness and identified her son as a suspect, as well as the car in which he fled.
Surveillance photographs from a Franklin County gas station showed Brown just before the shooting, according to the complaint, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.
Two days later, a second car linked to Brown was found abandoned in Clarendon County, South Carolina. By then, police had learned that Brown was driving a recreational vehicle.
The RV was found early Thursday in the parking lot of St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church on Grandin Road, just a few blocks from the home of Brown’s grandmother. A suspicious person wearing a black jacket, who police believe was Brown, was seen tapping on the window of the house early Thursday morning.