Police search neighborhood for man wanted in Warren grandmother's slaying

Suspect identified as Anthony Iannotti

WARREN, Mich. – Dona Lawrence, 62, was found murdered in her apartment early Thursday, and her alleged killer remains on the loose.

A suspect, Anthony Iannotti, 34, is being sought in Lawrence's death. Family members found the woman beaten to death inside her apartment on 13 Mile in Shoener earlier this week.

Police said Iannotti stole her station wagon. Investigators found the vehicle sitting in parking lot in Royal Oak Township on Saturday.

Police said Iannotti showed up on someone's property, but he didn't stick around long.

Neighbors are being extra vigilant after Iannotti was spotted. Police said he may have been looking for help from someone he knew.

Cops searched the area for hours looking for the man. Neighbors told Local 4 News that police blocked off roads as they tried to zero in on Iannotti.

The mayor of Warren said Iannotti was spotted in Shelby Township Saturday. A homeowner spotted him on his property and fired at him. Iannotti took off running, prompting investigators to move in.

"I looked out and was about to go to bathroom and I saw cop cars' light's flashing -- five to six cars -- and they had everything blocked off," Mike Hurst said.

Investigators from several agencies were searching a rural area right next to Hurst's home.

"They said you couldn't go down the side street because they were looking for somebody," Hurst told Local 4 News. "They said, 'Stay in your vehicles, lock your doors. Nobody can come down the street. We'll be here for hours.'"

Several knocks to Henry White's front door awakened him. K-9 officers in the area traced Iannotti to his backyard.

"They wanted to know if they could go through the house and see if there was anybody here," White said. "I said, 'Sure, no problem. I don't have anything to hide."

"I saw the guy's picture on the TV the past couple of days," Brad Noyes said.

Noyes said he never imagined the search for Iannotti would end up in his shed.

"This morning it was wide open and the gate was wide open," Noyes said.

He lives just two doors down from where the K-9s traced Iannotti's scent.

"I don't know if he was here or not," Noyes said.

At one point, police surrounded a nearby storage facility, but the search that lasted for hours did not end up with Iannotti in custody.

Hurst said he realizes how serious the search has become.

"This guy is desperate," Hurst said. "He's on the run. He's killed once, and if they're looking for him hot and heavy, I'm ready. I'm not going to be a victim."

About the Authors:

Dawn is a Digital Content Editor who has been with Graham Media Group since April 2013. She graduated from Texas State University with a degree in electronic media.