The fear surrounding Stephens’ whereabouts spread rapidly from Cleveland, Ohio, where he was accused of murdering Robert Godwin Sr., to states throughout the Midwest and East Coast. There were sightings, a Facebook threat, and a possible cell phone ping.
In an April 17 press conference, Cleveland police and the FBI said they aren’t certain where Stephens – who is accused of posting the graphic murder video to Facebook as “Stevie Steve” – is at all. They’ve upped the reward for his capture to $50,000.
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 stranger, Godwin Sr., on the street and then posting the gruesome video on Facebook. The motive: He was allegedly angry at his girlfriend, Joy Lane, whom Godwin didn’t even know.
On Twitter, people are incredulous that Stephens has managed to evade capture this long; he allegedly posted the video of Godwin’s murder on April 15.
Here’s a full round up of the Stephens’ location clues and sightings that occurred before his death. Learn more about his death here.
Five State List
The manhunt for accused Facebook killer Stephens – who went by the moniker “Stevie Steve” on the social media platform – has gone national, Cleveland police said on Twitter. Police in Cleveland, Ohio say that it’s possible 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.
It’s also possible he’s still in Ohio.
Baltimore Sightings Ruled Unfounded
Baltimore police said they were “aware of the numerous social media posts reportedly indicating that Cleveland murder suspect Steve Stephens is in the Baltimore area. The reports of his sightings are unfounded.”
Major cities “in the eastern portion of the country have experienced similar reports,” noted Baltimore police. “We are involved in information sharing with local agencies and we are in direct communication with authorities investigating this case.”
Someone made a fake page from Stephens threatening Baltimore:
Baltimore police urged people to remain vigilant at all times but said they have “no indications that the Cleveland murder suspect is in or headed to the Baltimore area.”
Erie, Pennsylvania: Did Stephens’ Cell Phone ‘Ping’ a Tower?
CNN reported that Stephens’ cell phone pinged off a tower in Erie, Pennsylvania, but police there say they have no knowledge of the ping.
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, which 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.”
Asked about this ping on April 17, the Cleveland police chief didn’t address the matter.
Possible Stephens Sightings Investigated in Philadelphia
Meanwhile, despite the confusion about Erie and the cell phone “ping,” there were reports of other sightings of Stephens in Pennsylvania – specifically in Philadelphia.
These came from unnamed witnesses who called police to report they thought they saw Stephens in Fairmount Park.
Some Philly schools were locked down as police investigated the reports. However, they said they had found no evidence that Stephens was actually in Philadelphia.
There was a sighting of a Ford Fusion with similar tags to Stephens in Blair County, Pennsylvania. It’s not clear whether it was in fact Stephens, though. You can listen to the dispatch audio here.
‘Stevie Steve’ Facebook Threat in Virginia
The manhunt for Stephens has placed the State of Virginia on edge.
However, police there say they have no evidence Stephens is in Virginia even though someone posted threats on Facebook under the name “Stevie Steve,” according to WTVR-TV.
The Facebook threat said “Yall Virginia people ready to die?” the television station reported. It contained a photo of Stephens from his actual Facebook site, but it’s easy for anyone to make a Facebook page. Although Virginia State Police directed the TV station to federal authorities conducting the Stephens’ manhunt, sources told WTVR “that there is no reason to believe accused Facebook killer Steve Stephens was in Virginia.”
Police describe Stephens as “armed and dangerous” and advise that he should not be approached if spotted. Instead, people are urged to call 911. 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.
Could Stephens Be in Detroit?
The possibility that Stephens was in Detroit escalated after a man posted about Stephens on Facebook; others said it was not a real sighting, and there was no confirmed information that Stephens was in Detroit. However, police did say residents of Michigan should be on alert for 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 and Joy Lane here:
Learn more about Stephens here:
Read more about Steve Stephens in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com: