Dorner manhunt: Deputies investigating reported sighting in San Diego
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San Diego sheriff’s deputies continued to search near a Lakeside area home early Friday after a reported sighting of fugitive ex-police officer Christopher Dorner, and are now investigating whether the call was a hoax.
A cell phone call about 10:20 p.m. Thursday prompted deputies to respond to a home near the Barona Indian Reservation, said sheriff’s Lt. Jason Rothlein. Authorities were still at the scene about 3:30 a.m. Friday.
The caller initially reported a suspicious person, Rothlein said, but later changed and embellished the story, claiming there were gang members in the area, then saying the suspicious person was the caller’s brother. The caller then said the suspicious person was a man wanted for murder, was someone on the news, and finally claimed the reported person was Dorner.
Authorities have found no sign of the wanted man, Rothlein said.
‘The deputies that are on scene have no indication Dorner was, is or has even been at that residence,’ Rothlein said.
Still, deputies will continue to search the area ‘out of due diligence,’ he said.
‘There’s a particular sensitivity here. Obviously it’s not something we can go and overlook,’ Rothlein said. ‘Having a waste of resources over a hoax — if that is in fact what this is — is a horrible waste of our time.’
Dorner, 33, is wanted in connection with a double homicide in Irvine on Sunday and the shooting of three police officers, one fatally, in Riverside County on Thursday. Authorities described him as ‘armed and extremely dangerous,’ and alerts about him were issued across the state and in Nevada as federal, state and local authorities intensified their search.
Authorities said they found a rambling manifesto published on what they believe is Dorner’s Facebook page that threatened ‘unconventional and asymmetrical warfare’ against police and named at least 40 officers and others.
Authorities spent much of Thursday scouring Big Bear after Dorner’s pickup was found burning on a forest road. About 125 officers followed fresh tracks leading from the vehicle and conducted door-to-door searches in the mountain community, but lost Dorner’s trail.
Dorner was also traced to the San Diego area in recent days. Authorities believe he is connected to an attempted boat theft at the Southwestern Yacht Club in Point Loma early Thursday morning, when he allegedly held an 81-year-old boat owner at gunpoint, tied him up and tried to steal the boat to flee to Mexico.
When that attempt was thwarted by mechanical difficulties, he apparently drove north to Riverside County, where the police officers were attacked.
At about 2 a.m. Thursday, a citizen reported finding property belonging to Dorner on a street near Lindbergh Field, not far from the scene of the attempted boat theft. The property included a briefcase and Dorner’s LAPD badge.
Navy officials also confirmed that Dorner had checked into the motel at Naval Base Point Loma on Tuesday, using military identification. He did not check out, but Lt. Joseph Ramos said Dorner had not been seen in the area later Thursday despite reports that he was still at the motel.
— Kate Mather and Tony Perry