2018-03-12 / Front Page

Sheriff: Murder suspect ‘off the grid’

By TIM GULLA
Ledger Staff Writer

When investigators served a search warrant at the residence of a Charlotte man being sought in connection with a fatal Jan. 23 shooting incident in Gaffney, the investigators reportedly found packed suitcases but little else.

Now, more than a month later, the question as to the whereabouts of Salavador Marquez, 31, whose first name is also spelled Salvador in court and police records, remains the same.

Marquez is wanted on a murder warrant by the Cherokee County Sheriff ’s Office in connection with the shooting of Matthew Markess Littlejohn, 33, of Boiling Springs. Marquez, who had a Douglas Drive, Charlotte, address, was named as the suspect three days after the incident here.

“He’s off the grid,” Sheriff Steve Mueller confirmed Friday when asked if Marquez has showed up on any law enforcement radar screens since the manhunt began.

Mueller said investigators had developed information that Marquez might be trying to go to California or Mexico. He said they’ve reached out to the U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Marshals Service for assistance and have also entered Marquez into a national crime information database. There have been no firm sightings or tips for law enforcement to act on, however.

Investigators are not yet commenting on any potential motives in the case as the investigation remains ongoing.

“We’d like to get him into custody and ask him, if he’s willing to talk, to see if his story corroborates some of the information we already have in this investigation,” Mueller said. “At this point we don’t believe it (the shooting) was random.”

Littlejohn was found shot in a vehicle parked on Commerce Drive in the Meadowcreek Industrial Park off Highway 329. A passenger in Littlejohn’s vehicle reportedly told investigators a man in another vehicle had followed them from a gas station at Shelby Highway and Pleasant School Road and fired at them as they traveled north on Shelby Highway.

Marquez was serving probation in North Carolina on a marijuana trafficking charge out of Blacksburg at the time of the incident, court records show.

Mueller said anyone with information on Marquez’s whereabouts can contact Crime Stoppers of Cherokee County at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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