LOS ANGELES, Calif.--The manhunt for a fired Los Angeles Police Department officer suspected in the slayings of four people was over today after charred human remains were found in the burned-out mountain cabin where he is believed to have been holed up during a gun battle that claimed the life of a San Bernardino sheriff's deputy.
But about a dozen LAPD families threatened in a manifesto allegedly posted by Christopher Jordan Dorner last week will continue to receive special protection as officials work to confirm that the remains found Tuesday in the cabin on Seven Oaks Road just off Highway 38 near Big Bear are those of the 33-year-old former officer, Los Angeles police said this morning.
"The LAPD has now moved back into a normal state of police operation," LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman, a department spokesman, said at a briefing at LAPD headquarters. "That began late last night, and will continue now as far as ... normal patrol operations."
But Neiman said the protective details "will remain in place until the department and the protectees feel safe."
Neiman noted that investigations were continuing into whether Dorner had any accomplices. He said it was not yet known if anyone would receive any of the reward money--$1.1 million--that had been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.
According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, the determination of whether the remains are those of Dorner -- suspected in the slayings last week of two people in Irvine and a police officer in Riverside -- will be made through forensic examination.
Dorner--the subject of a six-day manhunt--is believed to have beenthe man who stole one vehicle and carjacked another, then shot and killed one San Bernardino sheriff's deputy and wounded another while barricaded in the cabin, which caught fire shortly before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said.
The fire burned for several hours, delaying the entry of law enforcement personnel.
"We believe that someone was inside and that was the person who stole the vehicle and fled, then abandoned the vehicle, ran into the forest and inside this cabin, where he barricaded himself and was engaged in gunfire with our deputy sheriff, shot two of our deputy sheriffs and one of those deputies died," said San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Cindy Bachman. She said investigators had reason to believe the person holed up in the cabin was Dorner.
No one was seen emerging from the cabin, and by about 6:30 p.m., reports from the scene indicated remains believed to be Dorner's had been found inside, although law enforcement officials did not confirm the discovery.
The inferno that consumed the cabin climaxed a wild day of violence in the normally tranquil mountain community, which had been the focus of the Dorner manhunt since his pickup truck was found burning in the area last Thursday.
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. According to reports from the scene, two female housekeepers had gone into the cabin and found someone matching Dorner's description inside. The suspect tied the women up and fled in their vehicle, according to witnesses and sheriff's officials.