Fugitive Finders: The search for a Kannapolis double-homicide suspect

·4 min read

From the moment a violent crime happens in our community, the clock begins for investigators trying to get the suspect off the streets.

But when that suspect goes on the run, many of our local agencies turn to a specialized task force in the Carolinas that’s solely focused on finding fugitives.

Photojournalist Bryan Ruderman and Anchor Genevieve Curtis got a chance to join U.S. Marshal Deputy Commander Brian Alfano and the U.S. Marshals last month as they searched for a double homicide suspect.

“What’s to stop him? We have to get him off the streets,” the marshals said. “We have to get him off the streets.”

PREVIOUS: Part 4: Fugitive Finders: Meet the furriest member of the US Marshals’ task force

Their target: Marlon Anderson, who was wanted for a double murder in Kannapolis.

Investigators say Anderson killed Sharon Chambers and her nephew, Benny Sloan, on June 2. They said the shooting happened inside their home, where Chambers’ daughter ran a daycare.

Investigators say Chambers’ daughter had a relationship with Anderson.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Chambers’ niece Erica said. “It’s heartbreaking. Sharon didn’t deserve this. Sharon and Ben didn’t deserve this.”

Before the day was over, Kannapolis investigators had obtained homicide warrants for Anderson.

“We are a very safe community so when something like this happens, our initial reaction is to find the person who did it as quickly as possible,” said Captain Chris Hill with the Kannapolis Police Department.

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Hill said the department can’t talk about the Anderson case specifically, but he agreed to speak with Curtis in general about their relationship with the U.S. Marshals and when they call in the task force to find a fugitive.

“If we’ve learned they are no longer in the area, or we don’t have the leads we need to follow up on,” Hill said. “Without the marshals, we’d have to do a lot of coordinating with outside agencies on our own.”

With Anderson on the run, the U.S. Marshals took over the search. The Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force, first formed in 2019, was created for cases just like this. Federal fugitive finders on the team look for violent offenders wanted by local authorities all across the Carolinas.

“This is all we do, so we don’t get pulled in multiple directions,” Alfano said.

“We can dedicate resources strictly to a case or strictly to an area, some agencies, they just don’t have that flexibility,” he added.

Local agencies say it helps with their resources.

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“Turning that to the Marshals services, that helps free up some time here so we can focus on some of the other incidents that have happened in our area,” Hill said. “And we don’t have to spend a lot of time pursuing leads outside of our city.”

A month after the murders, on July 8, Channel 9 rode along with the marshals working the case. Alfano explained Anderson was good at going off the grid and laying low.

Curtis found Anderson had previously served time in prison for manslaughter.

“We’ve been trying to find him for quite awhile,” Alfano said. “He knows the game he’s been in and out of the system before, he knows how to stay hidden.”

And with each passing day, the urgency to bring him in grew.

“The guy already killed two people, what’s going to stop him from killing another one?” Alfano asked. “Every moment that he’s out there is a moment we take it a little bit and a little bit more personal because we don’t want that to happen again.”

PREVIOUS: Part 1: Fugitive Finders: US Marshals team with local officers to catch wanted criminals in the Carolinas

Hours of investigating led the team to a home in Lexington, North Carolina. It’s where they believed Anderson was hiding out, just 37 miles away from the crime.

“We were watching the house,” Alfano said.

The marshals surrounded the home and moved in. Alfano said after seven minutes, Anderson came out of the house. After 37 days on the run, Marlon Anderson was in handcuffs.

“It’s a good sense of relief knowing they have been arrested,” Hill said.

Captain Hill said working with the marshals to find a suspect is ultimately about giving victims’ families a small measure of peace.

“It’s pretty powerful -- the connection you build with these families,” he said. “To see everything come full circle is pretty special.”

(WATCH BELOW: Man wanted in double homicide at home daycare in Kannapolis arrested by US Marshals, sources say)