Schools open Friday as shelter in place is lifted; manhunt continues

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - UPDATE: Roanoke City Police say the shelter in place order for the Grandin Road area near Patrick Henry High School has been lifted, and Roanoke City Public Schools will be open Friday on normal schedules, but police continue to urge people to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.

Photo courtesy Roanoke City Police

They urge the public to lock vehicles and homes.

If you see Michael Alexander Brown, please call 1-877-926-8332 or 911.

UPDATE: Roanoke Police say they believe murder suspect Michael Brown, a suspect in the killing of his mother's boyfriend last weekend, came to Roanoke because of family in the area.

Click to watch Roanoke Police news conference.

Police said Brown's grandmother's home is on Tillett Road, where a call came in about a sighting early Thursday morning. There have been no additional confirmed sightings since then.

Police believe the general public is not in any grave danger, but emphasized people should be vigilant. Don't offer rides to strangers and don't leave cars unattended. He is still believed to be armed and dangerous and may use force. He is most likely travelling on foot.

Brown could be in the city or in adjoining jurisdictions; police are unsure as of now.

There have been pleas from a local lawyer - who has pledged to represent Brown - as well as family, urging him to turn himself in. Police also offered to meet him somewhere. They hope the situation will be resolved peacefully.

Lawyer makes plea to murder suspect Michael Brown to surrender

State police are assisting with aerial searches.

The RV Brown is believed to have traveled from South Carolina in is still being searched, and there is no inventory of the vehicle yet. Police are unsure where the vehicle originated. They say they are unsure if any damage was done to it before they found it, but their process of securing the RV did cause damage.

Police speculate Brown may have been in South Carolina because of military friends, but these military members have been vetted. They believe Brown is operating on his own.

EARLIER STORY: In a news conference held by Roanoke City Police, the department said it is searching for Michael Alexander Brown, who has a warrant out for his arrest in Franklin County in relation to the killing of his mother's boyfriend.

Around 4 a.m. Thursday, the police department received a call from the area around Tillett Road about a possible sighting of Brown.

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Police emphasize this is not a school-related incident; and they are staging in the area due to its convenience. The department said schools have been closed for today given the circumstances.

Police are asking all neighborhoods within a half mile radius of the 2100 block of Grandin Road SW to shelter in place until further notice.

The large police presence in the area Thursday morning was due to the discovery of an RV they believe belonged to Brown. Police are searching the vehicle for anything suspicious or dangerous.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office says the evening of November 12, the US Marshals Office received information that Brown may have been driving a recreational vehicle and pulling an enclosed trailer in the area of Clarendon County, SC. Later that evening, agents saw an enclosed trailer abandoned on the side of the road on Governor Richardson Road in Clarendon County. A search of the trailer revealed a black Lincoln Town Car believed to have been driven by Brown. The RV was then found in Roanoke early Thursday.

Police believe the vehicles Brown had access to have all been contained at this point. Because of this, Brown is likely seeking alternate means of transportation, according to police. He may be traveling on foot in the immediate Roanoke area, and he may attempt to take a vehicle or use public transportation, such as buses, taxis or Ubers.

Police believe Brown to be armed and dangerous. Brown is military-trained and knows how to navigate various types of terrain.

Brown is a white male, approximately six-foot-tall and 145 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing a black coat. There is a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the capture of Brown.

Shelter is still in place for the area. If you see something, say something. Call 911 if you believe you have seen Brown.

Roanoke County Police do not believe their residents should have any safety concerns right now. They are assisting local, state and federal law enforcement in the search for Brown.

Roanoke City Police are asking for Brown to turn himself in peacefully.

All Roanoke City Schools were closed Thursday at the request of Roanoke Police. Employees are not to report to work.

In addition to Roanoke City schools being closed, the Science Museum of Western Virginia is closed Thursday. For a full list of closings, click here.

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Photo courtesy Roanoke City Police