Aged computer image released of long-sought homicide suspect

January 12, 2004|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

City police detectives have released computer-manipulated photographs to show what the city's longest-sought homicide fugitive would look like today.

The photograph, generated from a 1974 mug shot, shows what homicide suspect Michael Hughes might look like today at age 56. Police have doggedly searched for Hughes since obtaining an arrest warrant for him in the fatal shooting of McKinley Johnson on Christmas Eve in 1974.

Authorities believe Hughes might be in another state and has used a variety of aliases to conceal his identity. The photographs show how a 5-foot- 11-inch man who weighed about 160 pounds might have aged. He has grayish hair and a mustache. His face is fuller, with a slight double chin.

The shooting occurred about 8 p.m. Christmas Eve outside the New Fulton Tavern in the 1700 block of W. Baker St.

For years, Johnson had collected donations for charity baskets and he was putting them together with friends at the tavern when he noticed a missing can of lunch meat.

Johnson, 40, chased the suspected thief out of the bar, police say, and was shot in the stomach and arms. Rushed to the old Provident Hospital, Johnson underwent surgery and was shown a photo lineup of suspects. He picked out Hughes, police say, before he died. Detectives then obtained a warrant for Hughes' arrest.

Police have said that Hughes might be living in the Carolinas, West Virginia or other states. Hughes was last spotted in Texas in 1988.

Anyone with information on Hughes' whereabouts is urged to call Detective Anthony Lansey of the city's warrant apprehension task force at 443-829-3262 or 410-637-8970.

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