Heavy snow hampered the second day of a mountaintop manhunt on Friday for a fugitive former policeman wanted as a suspect in three California murders and accused of declaring war on police in an Internet manifesto that railed against his 2008 firing.
As investigators sought clues to whether Christopher Dorner was holed up in the rugged San Bernardino mountains east of Los Angeles or had slipped away undetected, police across the region continued to chase down unconfirmed sightings and dead-end leads.
Police have said they believe Dorner was carrying multiple weapons, including an assault-style rifle, though the Facebook manifesto attributed to him suggested he might be more heavily armed.
“Do not deploy airships or gunships. SA-7 Manpads will be waiting,” the message said, in a reference to a Russian-made shoulder-launched missile system.
The manhunt focused on the snow-swept wooded hillsides and cabins near the community of Big Bear Lake, a popular ski resort about 80 miles northeast (129 km) of Los Angeles where Dorner’s pickup truck was found abandoned and set on fire on Thursday.
The truck turned up in the mountains hours after police say Dorner exchanged gunfire with two officers, grazing one, and later ambushed two more policemen in their patrol car at a stoplight, killing one and leaving the other badly wounded.
A former Navy lieutenant, he is also suspected in the weekend shooting deaths of a campus security officer and his fiancée, the daughter of a retired Los Angeles police captain singled out for blame in Dorner’s manifesto for his dismissal from the LAPD.