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Monday, April 17, 2017

Police Update: Steve Stephens 'Could Be Nearby, Far Away, Anywhere in Between'

Posted By on Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 9:28 AM

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After a night with little in the way of information — but plenty of social-media hysteria — Cleveland police and the mayor offered a brief update on the Steve Stephens case this morning.

Essentially: No new victims have been identified in connection with Stephens. He remains missing — and could be literally anywhere, according to law enforcement.

Police confirmed that they spoke directly with Stephens shortly after the shooting yesterday, but, beyond that, there has been no contact with him. Chief Calvin Williams said that police searched dozens of locations in Cleveland last night and conducted operations "unceasingly" since the shooting.

Any credible leads in Ohio or elsewhere are welcome at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

Shortly after midnight, we reported on the status of the manhunt. An aggravated murder warrant had been issued for his arrest, and multiple nearby states were "on alert." Furthermore, Facebook was reporting that Stephens had actually uploaded the video, rather than using Facebook Live.

Since an early evening press conference yesterday, no additional information was provided by the police department until this morning.

Nevertheless, Facebook and Twitter were abuzz with dubious police scanner information and flat-out rumors. People all over the city had "heard" that Stephens was in various locations, and many had "heard" that he had killed more people. According to police, of course, none of that was true. "Misinformation in emergencies is dangerous," the department wrote last night, though no official information was provided.

Elsewhere, people across the county memorialized the victim in yesterday's shooting, Robert Godwin Sr., 74. "He was very good hearted," his son said shortly after the murder. "He would give you the shirt off of his back." Godwin was the father to nine children.

In the wake of the shooting, dozens of GoFundMe pages popped up to offer financial assistance to the family. The pages have recorded thousands of dollars in donations, but the Godwin family says they have not created a GoFundMe page.

Update: During a 3:15 p.m. press conference, Mayor Frank Jackson said that federal law enforcement was offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information about Stephens' whereabouts.

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