Cleveland, Ohio - Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams announced Monday afternoon that the manhunt for Steve Stephens is now officially a nationwide manhunt. In addition, there is now a $50,000 reward for information leading to the capture of this killer.
Cleveland PD tweeted, "Chief Williams: This is now a national search for Steve. We will leave no stone unturned."
Reported sightings of Steve Stephens have been cropping up all over, but so far none have been determined to be credible.
According to Philadelphia Police Department, sightings were first reported around 1 PM Monday at Belmont Plateau in Fairmont Park, which prompted 30 schools to go into lockdown. After a massive police response, it was determined that there was no reason to believe that the sightings were actually of Stephens and the lockdowns were lifted.
Steve Stephen's cell phone last connected to cell phone towers Sunday in Erie, Pennsylvania, 100 miles east of Cleveland where the murder took place, according to CNN. At this point in time, Stephens could be almost anywhere.
At a press conference Monday morning, Chief Calvin Williams stressed that despite the cell phone ping, his last confirmed sighting was at the scene of the murder. Chief Williams also said that the search for Stephens was spanning the mid-west and the east coast.
The victim of the murder that was live-streamed on Facebook Live has been identified as Robert Godwin Sr., 74. Robert Godwin's family is asking the public not to contribute to any GoFundMe account set up in his name because they are believed to be fraudulent. There is no official way to donate at this time.
Steve Stephens was on Facebook live Sunday at around 3 PM as he pulled beside Robert Godwin Sr., who was walking down the street on East 93rd Street just south of the Interstate 90 according to Cleveland.com.
Stephens said, “Found me somebody I’m going to kill, this guy right here, this old dude,” before stepping out of his car. He approached Godwin and told him to say a woman’s name. Godwin tried telling Stephens that he didn’t want any trouble before Stephens shot one round into his head. Stephens then spoke to the woman through the camera saying that it was all because of her.
In a Facebook post, Stephens said, “I lost everything I ever had due to gambling. I do not go into details but I’m a (sic) my breaking point I’m really on some murder shit. … FB you have 4 minutes to tell me why I shouldn’t be on death row!!! I’m dead serious. #teamdeathrow.”
Stephens has claimed that he has murdered 15 people so far, although police have only located the body of the elderly man from the live-stream.
His Facebook account has now been deactivated. We have a copy of the video but won’t be hosting an unedited version out of respect for the victim. The edited video is available HERE.
Shanice Dunning spoke with the family of Robert Godwin Sr., who said that he was a good man who would give you the shirt off of his back.
“He was a good guy. He would give you the shirt off his back,” he said. “I’m not just saying that for these cameras … This man, right here, was a good man and I hate that he’s gone.”
Steve Stephens appears to be going around and picking random targets to murder. Anybody who sees him should avoid him at all costs and call 911.
Stephens is 6’1″, 240 pounds, and has a full beard. He was seen wearing a dark striped polo shirt in the Facebook live-stream. He is believed to be driving a white Ford Fusion.
This is a developing story and we will keep you updated. For all of our updates, follow us on Facebook and go to your news feed preferences under your settings, then select that you want to see more of Blue Lives Matter posts in your news feed. Otherwise, Facebook may not show you updates.