Tips pour-in as search for suspect in officer slaying expands to Haines City

Investigators are still trying to track down the man accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando Police master sergeant.   

“They want to capture him so Debra can rest in peace,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said Friday.

Mina says some officers will be working through upcoming funerals to track down the suspect, Markeith Loyd.

“They’re gonna do their job. Make no doubt about it,” Mina told reporters. “They want him and they want him bad behind bars. And we’re going to put that piece of filth behind bars, guarantee you on that.”

Friday afternoon, Master Sgt. Debra Clayton’s body was escorted past headquarters on the way to the church where her funeral will be held.

Police say Loyd shot and killed her on Monday morning but four days after her death and a month since his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon was murdered, investigators say Loyd is still on the run.

“We’re out on the streets, we’re looking and were pounding the pavement to try and make a determination as to where this individual is – where Markeith Loyd is,” said Orange County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Angelo Nieves.

Local, state and federal agencies are all involved in the search. Loyd’s picture is plastered on billboards and circulating on social media but somehow he’s been able to avoid capture.

We asked Capt. Nieves if he thinks Loyd is still in the local area.

“There’s no indication that he’s not so we continue to look for the individual, try to follow up on anything that we can. It’s important for the community again to keep their eyes out for this individual – if they see him, obviously don’t approach, don’t say anything just call 911 or call Crimeline and provide us a tip,” he said.

Deputies have already arrested three people they say helped Loyd while he was wanted. They say anything else who does the same will also be charged.

The search for Loyd has also expanded 40 miles southwest of Orlando, where authorities are warning residents that the fugitive may be hiding in the area.

The Haines City police posted on social media Friday that 41-year-old Markeith Loyd is believed to have family in the area. 

Authorities have been searching for Loyd since Master Sgt. Debra Clayton was killed Monday in the parking lot of an Orlando Walmart.  A reward of $100,000 is being offered for information that leads to his arrest.

Clayton's funeral service is planned for Saturday.

A police motorcade escorted a hearse with her body through downtown Orlando.  Orlando Police Department workers lined the street outside as the motorcade passed headquarters.

An Orange County deputy who was killed during search efforts for Loyd on Monday has had his funeral postponed.   A service for Deputy First Class Norman Lewis had been planned for Friday morning, but has been rescheduled to Sunday, due to a family emergency.


Some information taken from the Associated Press.