Rifle found during search for Va. murder suspect

Rifle found during search for Va. murder suspect
The US Marine Corps has issued a statement about a man wanted out of Franklin County for killing his mother's boyfriend, saying he is officially listed as a deserter. (Source: Franklin County Sheriff's Office via WDBJ)

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7/GRAY TV) - US Marshals found a rifle as part of their search for murder suspect Michael Brown on Wednesday, but they say until they test it, they cannot link it to him.

Acting on a tip, Marshals searched the Hollins area and found the rifle in the backyard of a home on Nell Drive. They say there are no new confirmed sightings of Brown, who is accused of killing his mother’s boyfriend in Franklin County on Nov. 9.

“I think everybody in this neighborhood will be very, very happy when he is caught,” said a woman who lives on Nell Drive, but asked not to be identified.

She said a suspicious man shrouded by a hood pulled up in front of a home on her street in a white truck earlier Wednesday.

“He was just carrying a rifle and then he disappeared and then I was sitting there watching the truck and he came back out but he didn’t have it and he got back in the truck and left,” she said.

The US Marshals Service confirms it recovered a rifle from the yard of one home, but right now have been unable to link it to Brown.

Authorities also searched throughout the area, including a home nearby where neighbors say the home owner does not live full-time, but were unable to locate Brown.

Marshals have received more than 250 tips in the search for the Marine deserter, but there have been no confirmed sightings since November 14.

There is still a $10,000 reward available for help in this case. Calls can be made to 911 or 877-WANTED-2.

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