L.A. County divides $100,000 in Christopher Dorner reward money

L.A. County officials agreed Tuesday to divide $100,000 in reward money for aiding in the hunt for ex-LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner between a couple held hostage in their home and a man who found his burned-out truck in Big Bear.

Karen and Jim Reynolds will get $80,000 of the reward money and Daniel McGowan $20,000, the county Board of Supervisors decided.

Dorner held the Reynoldses at gunpoint in their Big Bear cabin, tied them up and stole their SUV. The couple escaped and contacted law enforcement, giving a description of the vehicle.

McGowan, who worked at a Big Bear ski resort, found Dorner’s burned-out truck on Feb. 7 and alerted officials, leading to a search focused in the Big Bear area.


Dorner, an aggrieved former Los Angeles Police Department officer, is believed to have killed four people, including two law enforcement officers. A massive manhunt for him ended with a fiery shootout in Big Bear on Feb. 12. Dorner died there of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

The Reynoldses were also given the lion’s share of a $1 million reward offered by the city of Los Angeles with help from other jurisdictions. They were selected to receive 80% of that amount, McGowan was allotted 15%, and R. Lee McDaniel, a tow truck driver who spotted Dorner in the Inland Empire on Feb. 7 got 5%.

Rick Heltebrake, a camp ranger who contacted sheriff’s officials after his truck was stolen by Dorner on Feb. 12, and another couple who spotted him that day, were found not to be eligible for the reward because police were already pursuing Dorner.

The county reward will be paid in equal shares from each of the five county supervisors’ discretionary funds.



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