WANTED: Roanoke, Alabama man wanted in Florida homicide after vanishing from Georgia work release


Update: Investigators report 35-year-old Stephen Smith, apparently turned the gun on himself after being cornered by agents just outside Panama City, Florida

PORT ST. JOE , Fla. (WRBL) – A massive manhunt is underway and investigators are urging extreme caution for east Alabama and west Georgia families as they continue to search for a Roanoke, Alabama man who detectives say shot and killed a Florida man on Monday, August 19th.

Investigators tell News 3 the suspect, 35-year-old Stephen Michael Smith, is from the Roanoke, Alabama area where he still has connections.

U.S. Marshals are offering a $10,000 Reward for information that leads to his capture.

Investigators say on Thursday, August 15th, Smith failed to report back to the Clayton County Transitional Center in Georgia where he was on a work release program after a Robbery conviction in 2016. Basically, the program allowed Smith to leave the center unsupervised and work, then return home to stay the night at the center.

Friday, investigators began searching for Smith when he failed to return. Three days later detectives were alerted Smith was a suspect in a deadly shooting in Florida.

The Gulf County Sheriff’s Office in Port St. Joe, Florida continues to investigate the Monday morning homicide at 204 Sea Pines Lane, in the Gulf Aire Subdivision on St. Joe Beach.

Investigators believe Smith shot and killed 30-year-old Daniel Lee Upton of Lakeland, Florida. Investigators believe the two men knew each other.

Investigators say Smith is considered armed and dangerous and could be in Florida or possibly making his way back to Randolph County, were he’s familiar.

All local law enforcement agencies in our viewing area are on alert.

Randolph County Sheriff’s Investigators have been in contact with the Florida investigators as of Monday evening about the case. Randolph investigators stated on social media they are attempting to locate and capture Smith if he’s in the area.

The community is urged to be vigilant as well. Please call 911 if you spot Smith or know where he is.

Smith is a white male, approximately 5’10” tall and weighs approximately 170 lbs. He has brown hair and green eyes.

Smith is currently wanted for absconding from the work release program in Georgia where he was serving his sentence for robbery.

If you have any information on his location you can contact the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office at 850-227-1115, or you may remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 785-TIPS.

Background: 2016 Robbery

Investigators say Smith was convicted in a 2016 Robbery happened in Troup County, Georgia and according to previous reports and an article by Al.com, Smith was arrested after he was discovered hiding in an attic of a home in Roanoke, Alabama.

Again, if anyone has contact with Smith or knows his location please call 911 immediately.

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