Multi-state search targets suspect in Facebook video murder


The Facebook murder suspect, Steve Stephens, was not captured overnight, and police fear he could have escaped the immediate area into a surrounding state.

Stevens stated during the video, which went viral shortly after upload and remained on Facebook for almost three hours before being removed, that his motive behind the killing was because of problems with a relationship with a woman named Joy Lane and other family members, saying no one took him and his problems seriously. Stephens is driving a white Ford Fusion with temporary license plates, according to Cleveland police. No information about the victim has been released.

Williams said the search has expanded from Cleveland to the Midwest.

Godwin apparently was shot while out picking up cans in a plastic shopping bag, his daughter said.

Ryan Godwin, who said he's a grandson of Godwin's, had asked people to stop sharing it. Stephens is not believed to have known Godwin, a retired foundry worker who media reports said spent Easter Sunday morning with his son and daughter-in-law before he was killed on camera in the street.

"Not because he needed the money, it was just something he did", said 52-year-old Debbie Godwin. Stephens and Godwin didn't know each other, authorities say.

In the video he uploaded to Facebook, Stephens mentions Lane in the moments before the shooting, saying to the victim, "She's the reason why all this about to happen to you".

More news: Facebook murder suspect could be anywhere

"This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook", the company said.

Stephens, who has no prior criminal record, is not suspected in any other murders, despite a claim he made in the video of having killed more than a dozen other people, police said. "We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety".

Stephens had worked since 2008 as a vocational specialist and youth mentor at Beech Brook, a behavioral health agency located in a Cleveland suburb.

"We just hope Mr. Stephens is apprehended as quickly as possible so that no one else is injured", she said. "To think that one of our employees could do this is terrible".

Godwin had just left his children's home after eating an Easter meal and was walking home when he was killed, CNN affiliate WOIO reported. "This man right here was a good man".

"It's not real. (My father) was a good guy". I hate he's gone. He said Cleveland police had paired up in squad cars as they hunted for Stephens. He helped young people develop job skills and find employment, said Beech Brook spokeswoman Nancy Kortemeyer. I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm telling them to catch me....

Sara Ganim reported from Cleveland, and Nicole Chavez and Eliott C. McLaughlin wrote from Atlanta.