Marine deserter accused of murder captured in Virginia after 3 weeks on the run

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Michael Brown, 22, is wanted in connection with the killing of his mother’s boyfriend, authorities say.

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. — A Marine deserter wanted for murder has been captured in Virginia after nearly three weeks on the run, authorities said Wednesday.

Michael Alexander Brown, 22, is suspected in the November 9 killing of his mother’s boyfriend in Hardy, about nine miles east of Roanoke, Virginia, authorities there said.

He was placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list of fugitives on Monday.

Brown was arrested Wednesday morning in Franklin County, just south of Roanoke, said Capt. Phillip Young of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities are expected to release more details about his capture at a news conference later this morning.

He’s charged with second-degree murder

Brown deserted his post at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina in October.

The manhunt began after the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shooting call in Hardy, where they found Rodney Brown, 54, dead in his home, authorities said.

Rodney Brown’s girlfriend — who is Michael Brown’s mother — called police after finding Rodney’s body in the house, Young said.

Michael Brown is charged with second-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony. The motive in the killing is unclear.

The manhunt prompted school closures

The manhunt for Brown led Roanoke, Virginia, police to shut down schools in the city earlier this month. The closures came after authorities received a call at about 4 a.m. on November 14 regarding a possible sighting of Brown.

The caller told investigators that a man in a black jacket was tapping on a window at Brown’s grandmother’s house, Roanoke police Chief Tim Jones said. Officers responded and were “able to confirm to the best of our ability that it was Mr. Brown,” he said.

Authorities had warned that Brown was believed to be armed with a high-powered rifle and was known to frequent national parks and forests.

The US Marshals Service had offered a reward of $10,000 for information that helped lead to the location and arrest of Brown.

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