Authorities combing the Big Bear area found no new signs of Christopher Dorner overnight but vowed Friday to continue searching until they found the ex-police officer or knew definitively that he had left the area.
In a morning update on the search, San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon said more than 100 officers would be back in the field Friday after overnight efforts failed to yield new evidence and “certainly did not find” Dorner, the 33-year-old ex-LAPD officer sought in a series of shootings that have left three dead and two wounded.
McMahon acknowledged that Dorner had time to leave Big Bear but said authorities were not sure if he had done so. The search would continue, the sheriff said, until “either we discover that he left the mountain or we find him. One of the two.”
Crews conducted door-to-door searches until about midnight and patrolled streets after that, McMahon said. McMahon did not say how many of the approximately 400 homes in the area had been searched, but said the door-to-door effort would resume again Friday. Teams would also continue to scour the area where Dorner’s burning truck was found.
McMahon mentioned the possibility that Dorner had holed up in one of the vacant cabins in the area.
“We want to make sure he didn’t find a place to hide out for the night,” he said, adding that officials would re-evaluate their tactics after all of the buildings were cleared.
McMahon said it still was not known if Dorner was familiar with the area or if he was prepared for the winter storm that was moving in Friday. The National Weather Service said Big Bear could see 6 to 10 inches of snow above 4,000 feet and 2 to 6 inches of snow below that mark.
McMahon, who shielded himself from the snow flurries with an umbrella while speaking Friday morning, said officers were prepared for the weather and brought in snow equipment to help with the search.
“We’re continuing to search just like we did yesterday,” he said. “Our folks just have different clothes and boots on.”
Dorner is wanted in connection with a double homicide in Irvine, Calif., on Sunday and the shooting of three police officers, one fatally, in Riverside County, Calif., on Thursday. Authorities described him as “armed and extremely dangerous,” and alerts about him were issued across the state and in Nevada.
In an online manifesto attributed by authorities to Dorner, he ranted against Los Angeles Police Department personnel who he said fired him unfairly. He threatened revenge and “unconventional and asymmetrical warfare” against police and their families, saying he would stalk them “where you work, live, eat, and sleep.”
The search moved to Big Bear after Dorner’s truck was found in flames on a forest road. Schools and the Bear Mountain Resort were locked down as a fatigue-clad SWAT officers began combing the area. About 125 officers would eventually be used to search homes door-to-door and follow what was believed to be Dorner’s trail.