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February 14, 2013

LA Sheriff: Cabin not purposely burned in the Dorner shoot outfirefight

(Continued)

McMahon said authorities have not positively identified the remains.

Recalling his encounter, Heltebrake said Wednesday that he wasn’t panicked in his meeting with Dorner because he didn’t feel the fugitive wanted to hurt him. “He wasn’t wild-eyed, just almost professional,” he said. “He was on a mission.”

“It was clear I wasn’t part of his agenda and there were other people down the road that were part of his agenda,” he said.

Dorner, 33, had said in a rant that authorities believe he posted on Facebook last week that he expected to die, with the police chasing him, as he embarked on a campaign of revenge against the Los Angeles Police Department for firing him.

The apparent end came in the same mountain range where Dorner’s trail went cold six days earlier, after his pickup truck — with guns and camping gear inside — was found abandoned and on fire near the ski resort town of Big Bear Lake.

His footprints led away from the truck and vanished on frozen soil.

Deputies searched door-to-door in the city of Big Bear Lake and then, in a blinding snowstorm, SWAT teams with bloodhounds and high-tech equipment in tow focused on scouring hundreds of vacant cabins in the forest outside of town.

Authorities for the most part looked at cabins boarded up for the winter, said Dan Sforza, assistant chief of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and often didn’t enter occupied homes where nothing appeared amiss.

That could have been how Dorner went overlooked in a cabin just across the street from a police command post set up to capture him. It wasn’t immediately known how he got into the cabin or how long he’d been there.

He as there Tuesday, however, when two women arrived to clean it, said Lt. Patrick Foy of the state fish and wildlife department.

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