Police Receive Over 1,000 Tips in Search for Dorner – Eric Spillman Reports
LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Is triple murder suspect Christopher Dorner hiding in Mexico? And does he have an accomplice who helped him make his escape?
Police said at a news conference on Tuesday morning that they are now investigating over 1,000 clues, and the investigation is going in many directions.
They’ve seen about a 400 percent increase in tips since the $1 million reward was announced, Lt. Andy Neiman said.
“It is frustrating and we’re hopeful that something will break loose from the pubic and that these investigative leads will result in something positive in terms of bringing this to a conclusion,” he added.
The search for Dorner, a former LAPD officer and Navy Reserve lieutenant, is now in its sixth day.
One theory about where Dorner could be is that he may have fled to Mexico.
That comes from an affidavit filed by an inspector with the U.S. Marshals Service in federal court in Los Angeles late last week.
It says that Dorner might be south of the border because he allegedly tried to steal a boat in San Diego, subduing the captain, and said he was going to Mexico.
“The attempt failed when the bow line of the boat became caught in the boat’s propeller, and the suspect fled,” according to the affidavit by U.S. Marshals Inspector Craig McClusky.
After authorities interviewed the boat captain early Thursday, they found Dorner’s wallet and ID near the San Ysidro border crossing, according to the court records.
All that was before police say Dorner shot and killed a Riverside police officer and wounded two other officers.
That same day, a guard at the Point Loma Naval Base told authorities he had spotted a man matching Dorner’s description trying sneak onto the base, the records said.
Authorities have stressed that the court papers reflected their thinking at the time, but said that Dorner could be anywhere.
Authorities in Mexico reportedly raided a motel in Tijuana after somebody there saw someone matching Dorner’s description.
That turned out to be yet another dead end. Authorities said there was no evidence that Dorner had ever been there.
The affidavit by McClusky also says that Dorner could be getting help from “a known associate” with the initials “J.Y.”
McClusky wrote that J.Y.’s family owns property in the Big Bear area near where Dorner’s truck was found.
The criminal complaint does not detail the exact relationship between J.Y. and Dorner, a former LAPD officer and Navy Reserve lieutenant.
But J.Y. could be Jason Young, a person Dorner wrote about in his manifesto, describing him as a great friend, entrepreneur and father.
As part of the surveillance operation of J.Y., authorities were watching his family property last Thursday, the court records show.
Hundreds of officers scoured the area near Big Bear, conducting door-to-door cabin checks for any sign of Dorner.
A scaled-down search continues in the woods west of Big Bear Lake, where about 30 officers are searching vacation homes and cabins in an even more remote area.
Neiman said that the search will keep going until all investigative leads have been exhausted.
Authorities are also asking people in the Big Bear area to review any surveillance video from last Thursday (Feb. 7) through today for signs of Dorner.
Meantime, surveillance video obtained by TMZ shows a man that looks like Dorner buying scuba equipment at a Sport Chalet in Torrance back on Feb. 1.
That was just two days before the daughter of a former LAPD captain and her fiance were found shot to death in Irvine.
Dorner studied underwater warfare in the Navy, so that gear might have been useful if he had managed to use a boat to escape to Mexico.
Neiman said on Tuesday that investigators are reviewing that tape, but they have not made any determination about whether it is Dorner.
He also said that investigators are following up on the possibility that Dorner may have stayed at the Hi View Inn & Suites in Manhattan Beach.
Prosecutors in Riverside County have charged Dorner with murder and attempted murder in the killing of one officer and the wounding of two others.
The charge includes a special circumstance that could make Dorner eligible for the death penalty, if convicted.
As the search for Dorner continues, 50 LAPD personnel and their families remain under protective details, which will be in place until the situation is resolved.
Also, he Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday is expected to discuss dropping another $100,000 into the reward fund, making it a total of $1.1 million.
On Wednesday, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors will hold a special meeting to discuss adding yet another $100,000 to the fund.