Couple held captive to get lion’s share of Dorner reward

Karen Reynolds, 57, and her husband, Jim Reynolds, 66, were held captive by former LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

A couple held captive by former L.A. police Officer Christopher Dorner, a tow truck driver and a ski resort employee will split what it is anticipated to be a $1-million reward in the case, authorities announced Tuesday afternoon.

Jim and Karen Reynolds, who called 911 after they escaped from being bound and gagged by Dorner, will get 80% of the reward, which will be paid in installments, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a 12-page report made public Tuesday afternoon.

Daniel M. McGowan, a Snow Summit ski resort employee, will receive 15% of the reward. He called authorities after spotting Dorner’s burning truck in the Big Bear area, which led officers to focus their search in the snow-covered San Bernardino Mountains.

FULL COVERAGE: Sweeping manhunt for ex-cop

Tow truck driver R. Lee McDaniel will get the remaining 5%. He reported Dorner’s truck and license plate to police in Corona, hours after authorities had launched a manhunt for the ex-LAPD officer.


The first reward installment to be divided will be $300,000, police officials said. The rest will be paid later, a decision determined by a panel of three retired judges who oversaw the process.

Among those not receiving any money is Richard Heltebrake, a camp ranger who was carjacked by Dorner in the Big Bear area and who had filed a claim seeking a piece of the reward pie. His phone call “did not lead to information leading to Dorner’s capture,” the report said, adding that officers had already spotted the fugitive in a white pickup.

Dorner is suspected of killing four people, including two law enforcement officers, and wounding several others. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound during a fiery gun battle with authorities.

Originally, at least 11 parties submitted claims for the $1-million reward that was announced during the manhunt for the ex-LAPD officer, who went on the lam after being identified as a suspect in the slaying of an Irvine couple.

In announcing updated guidelines for the reward last month, the LAPD said retired judges would make the determination of who gets the $1 million.

The reward -- a collection of smaller donations from numerous agencies, groups and individuals -- was initially offered for Dorner’s “capture and conviction.”

But that became irrelevant under the new criteria because Dorner was chased into a cabin near Big Bear, where he eventually shot himself.


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