Michael Jason Registe, the man wanted on murder charges in the July 20 slayings of Randy Newton Jr. and Bryan Kilgore, may be in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed Thursday.
If Registe, 24, is in the Virgin Islands, he is likely on the island of St. Thomas, said FBI Special Agent and spokesman Stephen Emmett of the bureau's Atlanta field office. Emmett declined to comment on why the FBI believed Registe may be there.
Emmett stressed, though, that the FBI investigation isn't restricted to the Virgin Islands.
"We are certainly not limiting our investigation, our search for him in the Virgin Islands, but we certainly have ongoing efforts in the Virgin Islands as we seek to locate and apprehend him," Emmett said.
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Registe has been the object of a manhunt since at least July 21, one day after former Hardaway High School athletes Newton, 21, and Kilgore, 20, were gunned down outside an apartment complex on Steam Mill Road in Columbus. Newton died at the scene from a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Kilgore died at The Medical Center the following morning. He also sustained a gunshot wound to the back of the head.
Columbus Police Maj. Russell Traino has declined to comment on why the two victims went to apartments at 3911 Steam Mill Road the night they were shot execution-style. Traino also wouldn't discuss the connection between the victims and the suspect.
He said the motive appears to have been robbery.
Kilgore was a star pitcher for Hardaway High School's baseball team and at Columbus State University. Newton was also a Hardaway athlete who planned to enroll at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., this fall.
Registe was a member of the 1998 All-Bi City Cross Country Team at Spencer High School.
Registe faces state murder charges in connection with the slayings. Harry Rodriguez, FBI media representative out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, confirmed Thursday that U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land of Columbus issued an arrest warrant for Registe on July 23. The federal charge is unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Typically, an arrest warrant is preceded by a criminal complaint and sometimes by an affidavit, Rodriguez said, though he couldn't confirm that was the case for Registe.The Virgin Island Daily News, however, reported an affidavit had been prepared by the FBI.
Click the link to get background information about this crime or to learn more about the victims: Double Murder