Remains from burned-out cabin in California confirmed as Dorner's
BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. — Officials said on Thursday that the burned remains found in a California mountain cabin have been positively identified as fugitive former police officer Christopher Dorner.
Jodi Miller, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County sheriff-coroner, said the identification was made through Dorner's dental records.
Miller did not give a cause of death.
The search for Dorner began last week after authorities said he had begun a deadly revenge campaign against the Los Angeles Police Department for his firing, warning that he would bring “warfare” to LAPD officers and their families.
The manhunt brought police to Big Bear Lake, 80 miles east of Los Angeles, where they found Dorner's burned-out pickup truck abandoned. His footprints disappeared on frozen soil and hundreds of officers who searched the area and checked out each building failed to find him.
Five days later, but just a stone's throw from a command post authorities had set up in the massive manhunt, Karen and Jim Reynolds said they came face to face with Dorner inside their cabin-style condo.
The couple said Dorner bound them and put pillowcases on their heads. At one point, he explained that he had been there for days.
“He said ‘I don't have a problem with you, so I'm not going to hurt you,'” Jim Reynolds said. “I didn't believe him; I thought he was going to kill us.”
Police have not commented on the Reynolds' account, but it renews questions about the thoroughness of a search for a man who authorities declared was armed and extremely dangerous as they hunted him across the Southwest and Mexico.
“They said they went door-to-door but then he's right there under their noses. Makes you wonder if the police even knew what they were doing,” resident Shannon Schroepfer said. “He was probably sitting there laughing at them the whole time.”
The notion of him holed up just across the street from the command post was shocking to many, but not totally surprising to some experts familiar with the complications of such a manhunt.
“Chilling. That's the only word I could use for that,” said Ed Tatosian, a retired SWAT commander for the Sacramento Police Department. “It's not an unfathomable oversight. We're human. It happens. It's chilling (that) it does happen.”