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DORNER IS DEAD: Remains Confirmed as Those of Ex-LAPD Officer

The San Bernardino County coroner's office has confirmed that the remains found inside that burned-out cabin in Big Bear were those of fugitive ex-LAPD Officer Christopher Jordan Dorner.

Charred remains found in the aftermath of a deadly gunbattle and fire at a Big Bear cabin were positively identified today as those of a fugitive ex-Los Angeles Police Department officer accused of killing two people in Irvine, a Riverside police officer and a San Bernardino County sheriff's detective.

Officials in San Bernardino County said they used dental records to identify the remains of 33-year-old Christopher Jordan Dorner.

Dorner died at the end of a fierce gunfight Tuesday afternoon that led to a standoff at a Seven Oaks cabin in Big Bear. Sheriff's deputies eventually fired tear gas canisters into the cabin and a fire erupted, burning the structure to the ground. Charred remains were found inside later that night, but it took investigators until today to positively identify them as Dorner.

At 12:20 p.m. Tuesday, San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies received a report of a man matching Dorner's description stealing a car from a cabin in the 1200 block of Club View Drive in Big Bear.

The cabin's owners, 66-year-old Jim and 56-year-old Karen Reynolds, said they arrived around noon Tuesday to clean it for a pending rental and were surprised to find someone matching Dorner's description inside.

Telling the couple he wouldn't harm them and was just trying to clear his name, the man used plastic zip ties to bind their hands and legs and put towels in their mouths and pillowcases over their heads before forcing them into a back bedroom, the couple said.

He told the couple he had been in the cabin since as early as Friday and had watched them from inside as they did yard work outside before he fled to sleep elsewhere, they said.

After Dorner left, the couple managed to free themselves and call authorities.

Their stolen vehicle was spotted along Highway 38 by state Department of Fish and Wildlife officers who began chasing the suspect. During the chase, he crashed, abandoned the vehicle and carjacked a man's silver pickup truck.

The suspect opened fire during the pursuit, striking the officers' vehicle, according to Fish and Wildlife Lt. Patrick Foy. The officers, who returned fire, were not injured, he said.

Officials say Dorner then engaged law enforcement officers in a wild gunbattle while holed up in the cabin on Seven Oaks Road just off Highway 38. During the exchange of gunfire, San Bernardino County sheriff's Detective Jeremiah MacKay, 35, was killed, and Deputy Alex Collins was wounded. Collins was expected to make a full recovery.

During the standoff, police used a heavily armored vehicle to tear down walls of the cabin, then fired tear gas canisters inside shortly after 4 p.m. By about 4:20 p.m., the cabin was engulfed in flames. Several reports indicated that a single gunshot was heard emanating from the cabin before it burned down. As the fire raged, the sound of exploding ammunition could be heard from inside.

The manhunt for Dorner had been focused in the Big Bear area since last Thursday when his pickup truck -- apparently disabled by a broken axle -- was discovered burning on a forest road. Ironically, the Reynolds' cabin where Dorner was apparently hiding overlooked the Sheriff's Department command post that was established to coordinate the search.

Authorities say Dorner's killing spree began on Feb. 3, when the former Navy Reserve lieutenant allegedly gunned down the daughter and future son-in- law of an ex-police captain who represented him at a hearing that resulted in his dismissal from the LAPD.

The bodies of 28-year-old Cal State Fullerton assistant women's basketball coach Monica Quan and her fiance, 27-year-old USC public safety Officer Keith Lawrence, were found in Lawrence's car in the parking structure of their Irvine condominium building.

The next day, Dorner allegedly posted a 6,000-word manifesto online, vowing to kill named LAPD officers and their families. About 50 Los Angeles police officers and their families were being protected during the manhunt, authorities said.

Last Thursday, Dorner was allegedly involved in a shootout with Los Angeles police guarding an officer's home in Corona, leaving one officer with a graze wound to the head, police said. About 20 minutes later, he allegedly fired on a pair of Riverside police officers stopped at a red light, killing Officer Michael Crain, 34, and wounding the other, who was expected to recover.

Crain, an 11-year department veteran and ex-Marine, is survived by his wife, Regina, and two children, Ian, 10, and Kaitlyn, 4. He was buried Wednesday at Riverside National Cemetery after a memorial service at Grove Community Church. Among the thousands of people paying their final respects were Gov. Jerry Brown, Attorney General Kamala Harris, military veterans and thousands of police officers from around the state and country.

Meanwhile, questions continued to linger about whether anyone -- such as the Reynolds couple or Big Bear carjacking victim Rick Heltebrake -- would be able to collect a $1 million reward that had been offered during the Dorner manhunt.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who announced the reward fund Sunday, and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck issued a statement saying they hoped the reward would be paid out, but the issue was still being reviewed by the various agencies and jurisdictions that contributed.

"Now that the search for Christopher Dorner appears to have concluded, we are addressing the issue of the $1 million reward," the statement read. "More than 20 jurisdictions and entities are involved in this reward, so all of them will be coming together to collectively determine whether any individual or individuals qualify for it. Our personal hope is that the reward will be distributed, but we must follow the rules and respect for the procedures of each entity."

—City News Service

Stay with Patch for more on Thursday's announcement.

Alek J Hidell February 15, 2013 at 10:03 PM
I see. Then it would be hypocritical of you to call for their help when you might need some... Oh, and when a "normal" man gets his wallet stolen by a homeless man, it really IS ok to beat him up... it really, really is...
SA February 15, 2013 at 10:29 PM
I see your side, however I do not think the LAPD caused him to snap as he snapped years before he became a police officer and I bet you if it were not for ‘affirmative action” he would not have been hired on. Further, the Navy discharged him for failure to promote, which tells me they wanted to get rid of him (I served in the Navy as well, so I understand how it works). There has to be something really twisted for a person to murder innocent people in a mob style hit.
Vince February 16, 2013 at 05:34 PM
Ahhh!!! Armchair experts weighing in....allow me to insert MY two cents: Does anyone else find it odd that Al Gore isn't commenting on all the man made global warming inducing crap (like ash and burnt hair smoke--YUCK) that was introduced into the atmosphere as the cabin burned? Seems like they coulda just joined hands round the structure, sang Kumbaya, and if the guy didn't immediately surrender, then they could go about knocking the cabin down until that lil' bOOger, well, the SUSPECTED criminal fellow, either got squished, or gave up----'course there woulda been a noxious dust cloud from that action too----so maybe it was a lose/lose situation Re: Global Warming---Therefore the police should not now be held accountable for killing Polar Bears accidently, since they are simply collateral damage, as were the termites, mice, and other vermin that most likely resided in that building.
Vince February 18, 2013 at 08:56 PM
Well Shane Boy, it is surely unfortunate that you aren't aware of the dfferences twix't Conservatives, and Liberals, of which I am NEITHER----as I am also a far cry from a Moderate. Suffice it to say though, there was an awful lot of Global Warming causing exhausts given into the atmosphere thanks to that fire, and my thoughts pertaining to that were given more along a Liberal, "Tree Hugger" kinda line, rather then a Conservative, "Don't Give Crap" line---OR even a more Moderate, "I'm So Confused" line. I once had a Baptist Pastor tell me, and I quote: "You are just a little to the Right of Atilla The Hun." So therefore, to wit, and heretofore, allow me to form up yet another Political Ideology, that I will proudly lay claim, and embrace fully: "The Hunster Party." I'll give ya a little insight into The Hunster Platform in a Hunster News Letter, soon to be released on Patch---K? Anyone who wants IN The Party, just let me know, and we'll recognize you as a Charter Member. Might jes' be some perks (to be discussed later) coming along with your Charter Membership too.

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