Despite media reports that accused Facebook killer Steve “Stevie Stephens” cell phone pinged off a tower in Erie, Pennsylvania, police there say they have no knowledge of the ping.
Update: On April 18, police announced that Stephens was found dead of suicide in his car in Erie, Pennsylvania. Read more about his death here.
PA State Police “are not able to confirm if Stephens cell phone was pinged in the area or if he is in the area at all,” reported MyErie.com. The news site said reports claimed that Stephens’ cell phone pinged in eastern Erie.
Police in Erie, Pa. also told The New York Post they were not investigating the Stephens case. The pinging report originated with CNN. The network reported, “Though Pennsylvania authorities said early Monday that Stephens’ cellphone had issued a “ping,” or a signal, in Erie, Pennsylvania, the Erie Police Department said Monday afternoon it had no knowledge of a ping emitted from its city. Erie is about 100 miles east of Cleveland.” However, the Cleveland police chief didn’t address the matter in a news conference when asked about it by a reporter.
The manhunt for accused Facebook killer Steve “Stevie Steve” Stephens has gone national.
Meanwhile, despite the confusion about Erie and the cell phone “ping,” there were reports of other sightings of Stephens in Pennsylvania – specifically in Philadelphia.
Police in Cleveland, Ohio say that it’s possible Facebook video murder suspect Steve “Stevie Steve” Stephens may no longer be in that state. However, they indicated in a press conference that they don’t know where he is and solicited the public’s help.
Cleveland police issued an alert for residents of Pennsylvania, as well as New York, Indiana and Michigan. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania schools were locked down as police investigated citizen reports of Stephens’ sightings in Fairmount Park in that city on April 17. However, they had found no evidence he was actually in Philadelphia.
Indeed, despite the flurry of attention over Erie and Philadelphia, it’s not clear that Stephens has been in Pennsylvania at all.
“Residents of states of Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan asked to be on alert,” police said, but they didn’t reveal what led them to pinpoint those states. On the afternoon of April 17, police said on Twitter that the search for Stephens was a “national search.”
The Cleveland police chief said dozens of locations had been searched to no avail but pledged that efforts to locate Stephens are “unceasing.”
Stephens is accused of killing an elderly man who was a stranger to him, Robert Godwin Sr., and then posting the gruesome video on Facebook.
The viral video shows Stephens, a behavioral health specialist, approaching Robert Godwin Sr. randomly on the street and shooting him because he says he’s angry at his own girlfriend, Joy Lane. There is no evidence Godwin knew Stephens or Lane, who is cooperating with authorities.
Police describe Stephens as “armed and dangerous” and advise that he should not be approached if spotted. Instead, people are urged to call 911. There is now a $50,000 reward for information leading to Stephens’ capture.
Stephens also alleged that he had murdered other people in an “Easter Sunday Massacre” because he was upset with his girlfriend, but police have not found any additional victims.
This is a photo police in Cleveland, Ohio initially released of Stevens’ vehicle. It’s not known whether he’s still driving it, though.
They also released a photo of him:
The police description of Stephens is as follows: “Suspect in this case is a bm Steve Stephens 6’1 244 bald with a full beard. Wearing dark blue and grey or black striped polo shirt. Driving a white Ford Fusion with a temp tag. Armed and dangerous. If seen call 9-1-1. Do not approach.”
You can read more about Godwin here:
Learn more about Stephens here: