Franklin County homicide victim identified, suspect still at large

Franklin County homicide victim identified, suspect still at large

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Law enforcement officers continue the search for a suspect in the fatal shooting of a Hardy man on Saturday.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s office identified the victim Sunday as Rodney Wilfred Brown, 54.

Police are searching for a suspect identified as Michael Alexander Brown, 22, also of Hardy, according to a news release. The suspect is the son of Rodney Brown’s live-in girlfriend, the release stated.

Michael Brown is described as 6 feet tall, weighing 145 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.

Police are unsure of the motive in the killing, according to a news release.

The shooting occurred at a home on Woodthrush Circle and was reported at noon Saturday by a relative of Rodney Brown, police have said.

Michael Brown is a former U.S. Marine and combat engineer who was last stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, according to a sheriff’s office news release. He deserted his post sometime in October and has been seen in and around Franklin County over the past two weeks.

Michael Brown has been known to live in the woods and frequent national parks and national forests, the release stated. He is believed to be armed with a high-powered rifle and may have access to other weapons.

Michael Brown may be driving a black 2008 Lincoln Town Car with a possible North Carolina license plate with the number EHP-4877.

Anyone having contact with the suspect should use extreme caution and contact law enforcement immediately.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact Franklin County Sheriff’s Sgt. J.P. Nolen at (540) 483-6662.

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