Eric Frein's Manhunt In Pennsylvania Shuts Down A Handful Of Schools, And Cops Are Getting Closer

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It's taken a while, but local and state authorities in Pennsylvania may finally be closing in on Eric Frein, the man accused of the ambush-murder of a state trooper and the attempted murder of a second. According to reports, Frein may have been sighted twice, both Monday and Tuesday, in the town of Swiftwater, Pennsylvania. And that possible sighting has triggered an expectedly cautious response — the Pocono Mountain School District's ten schools were closed amid the Eric Frein manhunt, which is being undertaken across a swath of rural Pennsylvania hills and forest.

For the uninitiated, the hunt for Frein has been ongoing for about five weeks. He's being sought as the prime suspect in the killing of police Corporal Bryon Dickson on Sept. 18, a grisly nighttime sniper ambush which also left state trooper Alex Douglass badly wounded. Luckily, Douglass' condition has improved considerably since then — last week, the AP reported that the injured trooper had regained consciousness, and was able to speak.

After well over a month, however, tracking down Frein is undoubtedly the top priority for Pennsylvania authorities. In the wake of the shooting, which took place outside of a state police barracks in the Pocono Mountains, authorities discovered notes at Frein's deserted camp, detailing how the attack went down — Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens quoted from the notes at a press conference Wednesday, after blasting the alleged killer as "pure evil."

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According to USA Today, State Trooper Tom Kelly confirmed that the school closures had been related to the Frein manhunt, but that to this point, the police had "lost visual contact with the man through the woods. A search of the area was conducted but no one was located." Which is a fairly familiar feeling for authorities in this case — Frein, 31, is described as a survivalist, the very sort of person well-equipped to evade capture by escaping into natural environs.

There have been a few possible sightings of Frein over the last week. Beyond even the Monday and Tuesday sightings which prompted the school closures, one woman, who remained unidentified while talking to Pennsylvania'a WNEP, said she believed she spotted Frein in the proximity of his old school, Pocono Mountain East High School, with a scoped rifle and a mud-smeared face. The woman claims that Frein didn't lift the rifle, and that she fled after watching him for about 30 seconds.

Obviously, if you're living in or around the Pocono Mountain School District, this is worth keeping both eyes on until it's resolved. If Frein isn't captured soon, it's possible the district would need to close school yet again, given the obvious safety issues of a rifle-toting murder suspect on the run. For now, however, there's nothing to do but wait, and hope the police apprehend him soon.

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