Where Is Eric Frein? The Two-Week Manhunt Is Heating Up And, Slowly, Narrowing Down
The two-week manhunt for the individual who fatally shot a state trooper and critically wounded another has produced some bizarre clues, but so far, no suspect. The search for Eric Matthew Frein, the police's prime suspect in the shooting, has eluded the thousands of officers involved, as the so-called survivalist leads them deep into the Pennsylvania woods.
On Sept. 12, Pennsylvania state troopers Cpl. Bryon Dickson and Alex Douglass were ambushed just before 11 p.m. outside a police barracks in Blooming Grove by a mystery shooter. Four days later, officials released the name of their prime suspect, Eric Matthew Frein, after recovering his vehicle and social security card.
According to authorities, Frein is a "self-taught survivalist with a vendetta against law enforcement." Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan described Frein's alleged disdain for the police at a press conference:
He has made statements about wanting to kill law enforcement officers and also to commit mass acts of murder. He has very strong feelings about law enforcement and seems to be very angry with a lot of things that go on in our society.
Other sources described him as a war buff who was part of a Cold War reenactment group, in which members dressed up as Serbian soldiers. He had also been a member of the shooting team at Pocono High School, and two years ago he purchased his own AK-47 rifle.
Frein's experience with wilderness survival and war reenactment may be contributing to his continued evasion of law enforcement, but recent sightings could lead to his capture. Here's what police have found so far.
On the Monday after the shooting, Frein's Jeep was found abandoned in a swamp about two miles from the crime scene. Inside the vehicle police found shell casings that matched the ammunition used in the ambush, Frein's social security card, camouflage face paint, empty rifle cases, military gear, and a black hooded sweatshirt. This was the clue that named Frein as the police's primary suspect.
On Sept. 18, Frein made a call to his parents from his cell phone, which enabled the police to narrow their search to a five-mile perimeter in Pike and Monroe counties.
Firearms and Ammunition
On the 10th day of the search, police found an AK-47 and ammunition clips believed to belong to Frein in the woods near the barracks. Despite this discovery, officials believe that Frein is still armed.
Cigarettes and Diapers
After multiple local residents and officers spot a figure who could be Frein, the search is narrowed down to a three-mile grid in northern Monroe county. However, the sightings were all from a distance and therefore, the person believed to be Frein was able to flee.
On Friday, law enforcement searched the abandoned Buck Hill Inn in the Poconos Mountains, where Frein had visited when it was still running, according to officials. They did not find Frein in the hotel, which many believe to be haunted.
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