Butler Twp. shootings: Tips helped capture suspect, now chief seeks more help

Tips from across multiple states helped officers disseminate information and track the man accused of killing four people in Butler Twp., and police asked Wednesday for additional help still regarding the suspect.

Butler Twp. Police Chief John Porter said his agency and its partners worked Saturday to gather details that led to the capture of Stephen Marlow in Lawrence, Kansas.

“We continued to receive information across the board about some of the locations that he was seen and spotted at, so we were able to try to predict and push that information across the United States,” Porter said during a press event. “We received tips and information from other areas throughout the United States, and as we obtained that information, we pushed it out.”

ExploreButler Twp. shooting: Suspect to waive extradition, also faces federal charges

Law enforcement is still seeking the public’s assistance in their investigation. Porter urged anyone with information about Marlow that may help the investigation to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or Miami Valley CrimeStoppers at 937-222-STOP (7867).

Marlow is expected to sign extradition papers Thursday morning that will bring him back to Ohio to face charges in the Friday killings of Clyde W. Knox, 82, his wife, Eva “Sally” Knox, 78, Sarah J. Anderson, 41, and her daughter, Kayla E. Anderson, 15. The shootings took place on Hardwicke Place in two homes.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Marlow is charged in Vandalia Municipal Court with eight counts of aggravated murder, four counts of aggravated burglary and having weapons while under parole. He also faces federal charges, the police chief said.

Marlow appeared Wednesday in Douglas County District Court, where his court-appointed attorney told the judge he planned to sign the extradition papers.

Porter said it was unclear why Marlow went to Kansas or what his intended destination was.

Porter would not comment on Marlow’s hearing in Kansas. The chief said it also was not clear whether he was found with a weapon when he was arrested, and the chief would not comment on any evidence recovered from the crime scenes or the search of Marlow’s residence because it was under review.

He did say it took hard work to investigate the case.

“It took a tremendous amount of effort and amazing teamwork to bring him into custody,” Porter said.

He was joined by representatives from the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Vandalia-Butler Schools Superintendent Rob O’Leary. Porter specifically thanked the police department in Lawrence and said he was grateful that no one was injured during Marlow’s arrest.

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Daryl McCormick, special agent in charge of the ATF Columbus Field Office, said investigators continue to look into how Marlow acquired the gun used in the quadruple shooting, including whether it was stolen, a straw purchase or a third-party transfer.

“Well, obviously, Mr. Marlow is under disability as a prohibited felon. And so that became a concern right from the beginning,” McCormick said.

Court records indicate that around 11:35 a.m. Friday, Marlow walked into the open garage at 7120 Hardwicke Place and shot Sarah Anderson one time. He then walked into the home and shot Kayla Anderson several times before returning to the garage and shooting Sarah Anderson again.

He then went to 7214 Hardwicke Place and entered a detached garage close to the residence, where he shot the Knoxes several times, the records say.

Over the past five years, Butler Twp. police have responded five or six times to the Marlow home, but not all of those contacts involved Stephen Marlow, Porter said.

In wake of the four deaths that rocked the tight-knit community, residents have come together to comfort each other and have supported first responders, Porter said.

Hundreds attended a vigil Friday night in honor of the four shooting victims at Butler High School, where Kayla Anderson was a student and Sally Knox formerly worked as a transportation supervisor.

ExplorePHOTOS: Vigil honors four victims of Butler Twp. shootings

“The entire Vandalia-Butler community continues to mourn the lives lost in his horrific incident,” Porter said. “Continue to remember the Anderson and Knox families as they grieve the loss of their loved ones.”

First responders have received counseling from local clergy and from mental health professionals, officials at the press conference said.

Students also have had counselors available and will continue as the start of school arrives next week, O’Leary said.

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