After a nationwide manhunt, alleged killer Steve Stephens is no longer at large. According to a statement by Pennsylvania State Police, Stephens was located by officers in Erie County and took his own life after a brief pursuit, shortly after 11AM. Police had received a tip that Stephens’ car was located in a McDonald’s parking lot in the area.
“We are grateful that this has ended,” Cleveland Police chief Calvin Williams told reporters. “We would prefer that it not have ended this way.”
Authorities throughout the US have been searching for Stephens since Sunday, in connection with the murder of 74-year-old Robert Godwin. Stephens disappeared shortly after the killing, but was widely sought by authorities. On Monday, Cleveland Police offered $50,000 for any information leading to his capture, and photos of his car and license plate were widely circulated. He had no previous criminal record.
Immediately after Godwin’s murder, Stephens uploaded what appears to be video of the attack to Facebook; the video was widely shared in the aftermath of the incident. It took an hour and 45 minutes before the video was flagged by Facebook, and the slow response has drawn widespread criticism. Facebook publicly apologized in a statement on Monday, saying, “We know we need to do better.”