UPDATE 2:30 p.m.: Bradley Stone was found dead in the woods in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, according to reports on local affiliates of news networks, ABC, CBS and NBC. The reports cited unidentified law enforcement officials as the source of their information.
There was no information immediately available on when Stone died, how he died or when his body was found.
Metro reported Monday night that law enforcement officials suspected Stone was already dead. Several sources speculated that Stone would have committed suicide.
The reports come hours after Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman vowed to the press: “We will find Mr. Stone.”
On Monday, Stone killed six family members in a child custody dispute.
Police had fanned out across the region to search for the 35-year-old Marine Corps veteran, who left his daughters, aged 8 and 5, unharmed with a neighbor after killing their mother and five of his in-laws.
Police say besides his ex-wife, he killed her grandmother, mother, sister, brother-in-law, 14-year-old niece and critically injured her 17-year-old nephew in a shooting spree near Philadelphia Monday.
A nephew, Anthony Flick, who was found with a bullet in his head, is at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital “in very serious but stable condition” and is surrounded by family members, Ferman said.
“I cannot emphasize how serious his condition is,” Ferman said, “but at least at this point we are hopeful that he will be fine.”
Stone has a current wife and an infant child, Ferman said, both of whom are safe.
Ferman said initial reports claiming Stone attempted to assault a dog-walker in Doylestown, Bucks County, Monday night but was thwarted when the pedestrian flashed a gun were found to be untrue.
“Yesterday began the very harrowing process of conducting six autopsies, which continues into today,” she said.
Multiple media reports claim the shootings may have been tied to a custody battle. Stone and his ex-wife, Nicole Hill, were divorced in 2009. According to reports, Hill was engaged to be married.
Press reports say Stone is a Marine Corps veteran of Iraq, where he served as a weatherman with an artillery unit. They said he may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Police followed a “hangup” 911 call to the Lansdale home of Stone’s former grandmother-in-law and mother-in-law around 4:30 a.m. Monday. Police found both women shot to death, Ferman said.
At 4:55 a.m., more than 7 miles from the Lansdale home, a neighbor alerted police to a disturbance at the apartment of Nicole Hill on the 150 block of Main Street in the Harleysville section of Lower Salford Township. Hill, Stone’s 33-year-old ex-wife and the mother of his children, was found shot to death.
The District Attorney said at 5 a.m. Stone took the couple’s two daughters, ages 8 and 5, to his hometown of Pennsburg, dropping them off at a neighbor’s house.
Before 8 a.m. Nicole Stone’s sister, Patricia Flick, her husband and their 14-year-old daughter were found dead in their Souderton home. Their 17-year-old son was found with a bullet to his head and was airlifted in critical condition to a Philadelphia hospital.
The Souderton murders actually occurred first at 3:30 a.m.
That morning, police surrounded Stone’s Pennsburg home. Using loudspeakers they called for him to surrender, and officers at the scene told journalists they believed Stone was in the home, possibly dead.
With nothing but silence by nightfall, officers circled the house, walked up to the front door, and pointed flashlights in the windows, while dozens of locals watched for hours from across the street.
Authorities locked down schools in the Upper Perkiomen Valley and Souderton school districts as the manhunt wore on. The children were let go by 3:45 p.m.
Pennsburg’s last brush with infamy came in 2010 when resident Colleen LaRose, known as Jihad Jane was arrested on federal charges of aiding terrorism.