LOS ANGELES — To track Christopher Dorner, police from dozens of agencies chased tips across multiple states and into Mexico. But it appears he found a hiding place where searchers were thickest.
It is unclear how long Dorner, 33, was hunkered down in the cabin in the snowy mountains near Big Bear. But the cabin was so close to the manhunt command post and to an adjacent press area that countless police and reporters would have fallen in his line of vision.
Lt. Patrick Foy with the California Fish and Wildlife Department, which aided the search, said two housekeepers surprised Dorner when they showed up Tuesday morning to clean the cabin. He tied them up, stole their car and fled, barricading himself in a vacant cabin miles away. One woman was able to free herself and call 911, Foy said.
Dorner, 33, apparently died in that cabin during a police siege. Authorities are trying to confirm the identity of charred remains found in the cabin, which caught fire after police lobbed incendiary tear gas inside.
Questions abound about how Dorner managed to evade capture at the very center of the manhunt, which authorities declared over Wednesday. The Los Angeles Police Department has resumed normal operations. Most of the protective details have been called off the 50 or so families threatened in an online manifesto police say Dorner wrote.
Dorner, an ex-LAPD officer embittered by his firing, killed the daughter of a retired LAPD captain, her fiance and two law officers during his nine-day rampage, police say.
Information from Associated Press was used in this report.