Search for Markeith Loyd expands to Polk County

Search for suspected killer continues as officers prepare for funerals

By Nadeen Yanes - Reporter

HAINES CITY, Fla. - Though helicopters were hovering above and motorcycles were passing by, it was still silent as Master Sgt. Debra Clayton's processional passed by the Orlando Police Department Friday afternoon. 

Her brothers and sisters in blue saluted to pay to tribute to the 17 years she worked to keep us safe. 

"What always gets me is watching my officers," Orlando Police Chief John Mina said. "I know those are the ones that worked day in and day out with her. It's very emotional. It's a lot of tears, a lot of sadness and we are just trying to get through it."

And what made the moment harder is knowing Sgt. Clayton's suspected killer is still out there. 

"In a perfect world, we would like to have him captured or in custody prior to this weekend but that's not the way life always works," Mina added. "But that is not going to deter us or stop us from bringing him to justice.”

On day five of the manhunt, the search has expanded into Polk County. Haines City police posted an alert on their Facebook page asking citizens to be on the lookout and be careful because Loyd may have family members in the area. 

Haines City Police Chief Jay Hopwood told News 6, they've had about five people call in with possible sightings of Loyd, but it turned out to be nothing. 

Those calls are in addition to the more than 1,000 Crimeline has received this week alone. 

As they go into a weekend of funerals, Mina said his officers are going to honor Clayton and fallen Orange County Deputy Norman Lewis by pushing through whatever emotion to capture Loyd. 

"There are some that I couldn't pull away from that manhunt if I tried," Mina said. "Make no doubt about it. They want him and they want him bad and we are going to put that piece of filth behind bars."

He added, however, that any of his officers who want to go to the funeral of course would be able to attend. 

"There are others that were closer that need to be there, so we will make that happen," he said. "It does take a toll on the officers, but the good thing is we have plenty of help."

If you know where Markeith Loyd is,  the Crimeline reward is still $100,000. You can call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.

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