JONESBORO — Police identified the suspect in the October murder of Brian Ward and federal agents say he’s hiding in the Kansas City area.
The Jonesboro Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division developed Steven Clark, 28, of Jonesboro, as a suspect in the murder, said Sally Smith, JPD public information specialist. Smith said the department obtained a warrant for his arrest and issued a BOLO, or Be on the Lookout alert, for Clark on Oct. 30, she said.
“When a suspect crosses over the county or state line, a BOLO will go out to other departments and will ask for assistance,” Smith said Wednesday. “We also have a JPD officer who is a sworn U.S. Marshal and will enlist the Marshals’ assistance in finding a fugitive.”
Ward, 40, was found dead on Oct. 17 in his apartment in the 1800 block of Self Circle. The homicide was initially investigated as a suspicious death.
“I walked in and saw (Ward) laying on his back with his right arm standing straight up near his face. His left arm was also slightly upwards near his chest,” Officer Madison Hicks wrote in the incident report. “I observed what looked to be a small amount of blood (in) his left armpit area.”
The circumstances of Ward’s murder are still unclear in an updated incident report, but JPD noted that the victim’s fatal gunshot wound was incurred while some “other felony (was) involved.” A 9mm handgun was reported stolen from a 51-year-old female victim.
Smith said the department’s homicide probe is ongoing.
In a Wednesday press release, Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers noted that the U.S. Marshals Service is searching for Clark.
“(Clark) is known to have fled Arkansas and is hiding somewhere in Kansas City. The individual should be considered violent,” it read.
Records show Clark was released after his bond was reduced from $500,000 cash to $30,000 cash or surety in a December 2019 battery case. As part of his pretrial release, he was ordered to not possess a firearm.
Clark was accused of shooting a man in the Cedar Heights area and charged with first-degree battery, committing a terroristic act and possession of a firearm by a felon, court documents state.
Anyone with information regarding Clark’s location is asked to contact the contact Crime Stoppers Greater Kansas City TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477 or KCcrimestoppers.com. Information leading to an arrest and/or filing of charges could be eligible for up to $2,000 in reward money.
Northeast Arkansans are urged to contact CrimeStoppers of Jonesboro to submit anonymous tips at 870-935-5657. A reward is also offered by the Jonesboro-based organization for a tip that leads to an arrest.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Clark had not been apprehended by law enforcement.