Smith

A murder suspect with local ties was located by law enforcement officials in Florida late Tuesday night. Before they could apprehend him he took his own life.

Stephen Michael Smith was the prime suspect in a murder that happened Monday morning in Port St. Joe, Fla. According to a Wednesday release from the Gulf County Florida Sheriff's Office, Gulf County deputies pulled Smith over in Parker, Fla., with the intent to arrest him.

"With the vehicle surrounded by law enforcement, Smith immediately placed a pistol to his head and committed suicide," the release said.

Law enforcement in Roanoke and Randolph County had asked for the public's help in locating Stephen Michael Smith.

Randolph County Sheriff David Cofield said his personnel were looking for Smith, who has family in this area. He also had connections in Carroll, Heard, Chambers and Troup counties.

According to an earlier release from the Gulf County Sheriff's Office, the victim of Smith's suspected murder was Daniel Lee Upton, 30, of Lakeland, Fla.

Prior to his latest run-in with the law Smith had arrived in Florida after not returning to a work release program in Clayton County, Ga., on Aug. 15.

He was in the work release program serving a sentence for the armed robbery of Billy's Country Store near West Point Lake in May 2016. After the robbery, Randolph County Sheriff's Department personnel found him hiding in the attic of a home in Rock Mills.

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