BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. Police scoured mountain peaks for days, using everything from bloodhounds to high-tech helicopters in their manhunt for a revenge-seeking ex-cop. They had no idea he was hiding among them, holed up in a vacation cabin across the street from their command post.
It was there that Christopher Dorner apparently took refuge last Thursday, four days after beginning a deadly rampage that would claim four lives.
The search ended Tuesday when a man believed to be Dorner bolted from hiding, stole two cars, barricaded himself in a vacant cabin and mounted a last stand in a furious shootout in which he killed one sheriff's deputy and wounded another before the building erupted in flames.
He never emerged from the ruins and hours later a charred body was found in the basement of the burned cabin along with a wallet and personal items, including a California driver's license with the name Christopher Dorner, an official briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.
Authorities believe the remains are those of the former Los Angeles police officer, but they have not been formally identified.
LAPD Lt. Andrew Neiman said Wednesday the department has returned to normal patrol operations. He said approximately a dozen of the more than 50 protective details remain in place and will stay that way until the remains are positively identified. "This really is not a celebration," he said. Neiman would not answer any questions regarding what occurred in San Bernardino County, saying it was that jurisdiction's investigation.
Dorner, 33, had said in a lengthy rant police believe he posted on Facebook that he expected to die in one final, violent confrontation with police, and if it was him in the cabin that's just what happened.
Police said Dorner began his run on Feb. 6 after they connected the slayings of a former police captain's daughter and her fiance with his angry manifesto.
Dorner blamed LAPD Capt. Randal Quan for providing poor representation before the police disciplinary board that fired him for filing a false report.
Dorner, who is black, claimed in his online rant that he was the subject of racism by the department and was targeted for doing the right thing.