ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - Local law enforcement officials are reacting to a report that surfaced this week alleging a fugitive was hiding in an RV while officers collected evidence from it.
It's in reference to the morning of November 14, when multiple agencies descended on an RV parked near St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church in Grandin Village. Officers believed a Marine wanted for homicide, Michael Brown, was hiding inside it. Officials with Virginia State Police used a tactical vehicle to shred open the side of the RV, and then spent hours collecting evidence from inside before the RV was towed away.
At the time, officers reported they had not found Brown inside. He was taken into custody without incident November 27 from his mother's home in Franklin County.
The Franklin County Sheriff's Office put out a statement Friday via email regarding the report stating, “We have been aware of that rumor since Brown was arrested. We have been investigating that information and cannot confirm that Brown was in the RV at the time. We are currently unaware of any surveillance video from the impound lot in Roanoke. This is an ongoing criminal investigation and we will continue to investigate any new information that becomes available.”
WDBJ7 also reached out to the other agencies involved in the search for Michael Brown that day.
Brad Sellers with the US Marshal's Office in Roanoke told WDBJ7 Friday that his office cannot confirm or deny the report. Sellers said, as with all major investigations they're involved in, the office will conduct a full review of their participation in the investigation. They also confirmed they do not have any charges currently pending for anyone else related to this investigation.
Sergeant Rick Garletts with Virginia State Police, the agency that processed the RV for evidence, said there was no comment on behalf of the agency. Garletts referred all questions regarding the investigation to the Franklin County Sheriff's office.
A spokesperson for the FBI in Richmond told WDBJ7 they had also received inquiries about this rumor, but would not be making a comment at this time.
A representative with the Roanoke Police Department told WDBJ7 Friday they assisted the US Marshals Office and the Franklin County Sheriff's Office with the investigation but would not be commenting on the report.
According to Brown's attorney, Deborah Caldwell-Bono, as of Friday evening, she believes her comment Thursday about Michael being in the RV when it was searched and towed will be proven true.
WDBJ7 reached out Friday morning to Fat Boys towing, which was seen towing the RV from the church parking lot the night of November 14. A representative who answered the phone told WDBJ7 that there was, "no video and no story."
WDBJ7 also reached out to Michael Brown's mother, Vanessa Hanson, who said over the phone that she would be making no comment.
Brown is accused of killing his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown, in a home in Hardy, in Franklin County, November 9. He was arrested two and a half weeks later.
This is an ongoing story. Please check back in with WDBJ7 for updates.
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