Authorities are offering a $50,000 reward for the arrest of Steve Stephens, the man accused of publishing video of a murder to Facebook this past week.
The money comes from the FBI, ATF, and U.S. Marshals Service.
Local and federal law enforcement agencies across northeast Ohio and surrounding states remain on the lookout for Stephens.
The Facebook murder suspect, Steve Stephens, was not captured overnight, and police fear he could have escaped the immediate area into a surrounding state. People have been asked to remain vigilant in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, and Michigan.
“This is a national search,” Cleveland police chief Calvin Williams said Monday.
Williams has said that detectives were in contact with Stephens via cellphone after the weekend homicide, but they were unsuccessful in convincing him to turn himself in to police custody.
Despite Stephens’ claims, there is still no evidence to prove his claim of killing more than a dozen people.
“We’re still imploring Steve to turn himself in,” Williams said Monday.
Though they’ve received dozens of tips, Cleveland police are asking for more and say they’re following up on every one.
Law enforcement officials will be installing billboards and message signs along the highways with photos and a description of Stephens until he is captured. Anyone with information may contact the Cleveland Police Department of the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).
“We are going to make this individual’s world very, very, very small,” said Pete Elliot, with the U.S. Marshals Service.
The tips to police on Sunday night and the rumors spread on social media created a broad search radius for the suspect. People speculated on social media that the suspect was anywhere from Chesterland to Solon, to Erie, Pa., but none of them proved accurate enough to lead to a capture.
A ping from the suspect’s cellphone was even detected in Erie, Pa.
Cleveland police reiterated late Sunday night that any confirmed updates would be coming from a law enforcement agency. False information could lead to a dangerous situation.
“If there’s somebody that’s helping Steve or think they’re helping Steve, they are really not,” said Williams.
Description of Stephens
- He is described as a black man
- 6 foot 1, 244 pounds
- Bald with a full beard
- Wearing a dark blue and grey or black striped polo shirt
- White or cream-colored Ford Fusion