BIG BEAR — A couple held hostage by Christopher Dorner in a cabin near Big Bear are talking about their ordeal at the hands of the accused killer.
Karen and Jim Reynolds say it appears Dorner was holed up inside their Big Bear area condo for as many as five days before the couple surprised him.
The couple own the Mountain Vista Resort on Clubview Drive.
Karen Reynolds, 56, told reporters that she and her husband had been in the process of renovating the condo when Dorner’s burned out truck was found nearby.
The couple decided to flee the mountain until it appeared safe to return. On Tuesday, they did just that.
But what they found waiting for them was not what they expected.
“I really thought it could be the end,” Karen Reynolds told reporters.
The couple came across Dorner when they went upstairs. When they saw him, he pulled out a gun and yelled, “Stay calm.”
“We saw so many pictures of him,” Karen said. “And actually, while he talked to me, he said, ‘I know you’ve been seeing the news. I know you know who I am.’”
Dorner bound the couple with zip ties and stuffed small towels in their mouths.
They say Dorner was incredibly calm and tried to reassure them that he did not want to harm them.
“He tried to calm us down, saying very frequently, he would not kill us,” said Jim Reynolds. “He wanted to clear his name.”
“He said that quite a few times. He said, ‘I don’t have a problem with you, I just want to clear my name.’”
Dorner also told the couple he had been watching them from another condo unit.
“He said that we are very hard workers, we’re good people. He talked about how he could see Jim working on the snow,” Karen said.
After about 15 minutes Dorner left the condo, stealing the couple’s purple Nissan.
Karen told reporters she managed to make it to her cellphone and called 911 using the speaker.
It was that call that alerted authorities to Dorner’s presence on the mountain and triggered the chain of events that led to Dorner presumed death in a fiery cabin standoff.
The couple says they came forward to refute initial reports that it was a pair of housekeepers that Dorner took hostage.