Latest fugitive search comes up empty in Franklin County

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HARDY, Va. (WDBJ7) Another day, another tip, another search for murder suspect Michael Brown comes up empty: Tuesday, multiple agencies, including the US Marshals and the NCIS, descended on Franklin County once again to search the area around the original crime scene, where investigators believe he killed his mother's boyfriend November 9.

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The search was prompted, officials say, by reports of something "odd." Officials wouldn't say what exactly it was, only that neighbors have been keeping an eye on the house, and watching for lights turned on or windows suddenly open.

According to Marshal's Deputy Chief Brad Sellers, the search area for Brown now includes essentially the entire East Coast, though the focus remains on our region. So far, the agency has received about 250 tips about Brown, spread across eight states. Though many of those have not panned out, Sellers encourages the community to remain engaged, and report anything that might be suspicious.

Tuesday's search included tactical units and at least one armored vehicle, an unusual sight for residents like Richard Robinson.

"I really wasn't wholly too worried about it," he said.

Robinson is the Head Deacon at Gethsemane Baptist, just a short drive from the crime scene and the staging area for Tuesday's surge of activity. He says members of his church knew Brown and his family, and have been worried as the search plays out.

"We've definitely kept the whole family on our prayer list," said Robinson.

He also says some think the alleged shooting and everything that's followed is out of character for Brown. "Some of the people that knew him didn't think that he was that kind of a person. But you don't know what you'd do under certain circumstances," said Robinson.

Robinson says rumors continue to swirl in the community about why this might have happened. The only certainty: a desire that the search ends soon, quietly and peacefully.

"Just hoping that if and when they do find him that he won't be harmed, and it won't end with more violence," he said.

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