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Police locate a vehicle last operated by the suspect in a Maryland judge's killing

News crews film outside the home of Maryland Circuit Court Judge Andrew Wilkinson on Friday in Hagerstown, Md. Authorities say Wilkinson, who was shot to death in the driveway of his home, had presided over the divorce case of the man now identified as a suspect in the killing.
Jon Elswick
/
AP
News crews film outside the home of Maryland Circuit Court Judge Andrew Wilkinson on Friday in Hagerstown, Md. Authorities say Wilkinson, who was shot to death in the driveway of his home, had presided over the divorce case of the man now identified as a suspect in the killing.

Updated October 22, 2023 at 1:04 PM ET

The Washington County Sheriff's Office issued a statement on Saturday saying it located the vehicle last operated by the man suspected of fatally shooting Maryland Circuit Court judge Andrew Wilkinson.

The sheriff's office said the search for 49-year-old homicide suspect Pedro Manuel Argote, last seen operating a 2009 silver Mercedes, continues.

The vehicle was located in Williamsport, Md. By Sunday afternoon, the sheriff's office saidit had concluded search operations in the Williamsport area, because no further information indicated that Argote was nearby.

Wilkinson was shot in the driveway of his Hagerstown, Md., home on Thursday night. According to the sheriff's office statement, the 52-year-old judge was transported to Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, where he later died of his injuries.

Earlier that day, Wilkinson awarded Argote's wife full legal custody of the estranged couple's four children in divorce proceedings. The judge also ordered Argote not to contact them.

According to NPR member station WYPR in Baltimore, Argote did not attend the hearing. But authorities believe the suspect targeted Wilkinson as a result of the judge's ruling.

Argote had no earlier criminal record in Washington County, the station reported. Sheriff Brian Albert earlier told reporters that his deputies had been called to Argote's house twice in recent years for verbal domestic assaults, though no charges were filed.

On Friday, the U.S. Marshals Service announced the launch of an interstate manhunt for Argote. It is offering up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. "Argote has ties to multiple locations beyond the state of Maryland to include Brooklyn and Long Island, New York; Tampa and Clearwater, Florida; Columbus, Indiana; and unknown cities in North Carolina," a Marshals Service statement said.

The suspect is described as being 5-foot-7-inches tall and 130 pounds in weight, with black hair and brown eyes.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Chloe Veltman
Chloe Veltman is a correspondent on NPR's Culture Desk.