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For God's sake be careful: Manhunt for Cleveland killer has expanded to five states
Still on the loose.
This is really just a quick public service announcement because we really, really don't want any of you to get hurt . . . or killed, as Robert Godwin Sr. unconscionably was in Cleveland yesterday.
His apparent killer, Steve Stephens, is still on the loose and police have now expanded the search for him to five states - specifically Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan in addition to Ohio. (As most of you know, I live in the Detroit area. I'm not scared but I'm sure as hell keeping my eyes open.)
Police detected a ping off Stephens's cell phone in Erie, Pennsylvania, which may or may not mean he's been there or could still be there. But based on the fact that they know he was in Cleveland yesterday, and he may have been in Erie today, the widening of the net involves everywhere he could reasonably get to in the timeframe available. Obviously if they don't catch him soon they'll have to expand the manhunt to even more states:
Appearing alongside a US marshal and FBI agent, Williams said investigators have searched dozens of locations, "to no avail," and that one of his detectives had spoken to Stephens via cell phone after the murder. He did not elaborate on the call, other than to say the detective attempted to convince Stephens to surrender.
"We're still asking Steve to turn himself in, but if he doesn't, we'll find him," the chief said. "We're not going to stop until we find him."
He warned any of Stephens' friends or family members who might assist him while he's on the lam: "If you think you're helping Steve, you're really not. You're going to get yourself in trouble."
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.
By the way, some church friends of mine are personal friends with Mr. Godwin's daughter, and they're asking for prayers - which is something I'm sure we can all very willingly offer. Everything I've heard of Mr. Godwin is that he was the kind of man who would give you the shirt off his back. He was simply out for a pleasant stroll on a beautiful Easter Sunday, and lost his life for no reason apart from the fact that Stephens happened to spot him walking along the sidewalk.
I'll tell you the same thing I told you just over a year ago when something similar happened in Kalamazoo: Steve Stephens, who had never displayed behavior like this before according to people who know him, is doing the things he's doing because at least one and probably several demons are telling him to. That is not an excuse at all for his behavior. It is simply a full and complete assessment of what's going on.
If you see this guy, for God's sake do not approach him. First get away from him as quickly as you can, and then when you're sure you're safe, call the police.
He will kill you.
That said, no evidence has yet surfaced to back up Stephens's claim that he has also killed 15 other people - and hopefully none will. But that doesn't make the murder of Robert Godwin Jr. any less horrific, nor does it make the arrest of Steve Stephens any less an urgent matter.
Please be careful.
Dan's new novel, BACKSTOP, is a story of spiritual warfare and baseball. Download it from Amazon here!