Charred body found after US manhunt for Christopher Dorner

Lt Andy Neiman: ''It's been a very trying time.. for all of those involved''

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California police say they have found a body in a burnt-out cabin where murder suspect Christopher Dorner is believed to have made his deadly last stand.

The 33-year-old former policeman is thought to have exchanged fire with police after barricading himself in.

A single gunshot was later heard inside the building, as flames engulfed it.

One officer was killed and another injured during the shoot-out. Dorner is also accused earlier of shooting dead a young couple and a police officer.

Forensic tests will determine if the charred remains found in the razed cabin after Tuesday night's siege are those of Dorner.

The gunman had sworn revenge on police officers he blamed for his sacking in 2008.

'Bittersweet night'

The search moved to the area of Big Bear Lake, a ski resort 80 miles (130km) east of Los Angeles, last Thursday after the suspect's burnt-out truck was found there.

San Bernardino County Sheriff's spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman said of the remains: "We have reason to believe that it is him."

The manifesto meaning

In suicides, says Jack Digliani, a police psychologist with the Loveland, Colorado Police Department, police officers are more likely to leave a note than the general population. Dorner left a manifesto, sent to a media station before he allegedly committed his first crimes.

"In many cases, a manifesto reads like a suicide note," says Digliani. Dorner's lengthy manifesto, he said, had similar hallmarks, including a section thanking those who helped him. The manifesto, says Digliani, also offers insight into how Dorner could have turned from criminal to cop.

"It's [presented as] a righteous cause," he says. "It's two-fold. One is to change the LAPD, the other is to reclaim his name and his reputation. This is the avenger/crusader perspective: 'I don't want to do this, but it's the only way to accomplish the goal.'"

An officer briefed on the investigation told the Associated Press news agency that a driver's licence naming Dorner was found in the burned cabin with the body.

But Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said he was not considering the situation over until tests confirmed the remains were Dorner's.

"It is a bittersweet night," Mr Beck told the Los Angeles Times.

Tuesday's shoot-out began when officials from California's wildlife agency were searching for a car reported stolen in the area.

A woman reportedly told police she had been tied up by the suspect when she and another woman had entered an empty house to clean it. She managed to get free, but he had taken the car.

As wildlife officials searched for that stolen vehicle, a different pickup truck sped erratically towards the officials, department spokesman Lt Patrick Foy said, with the driver firing on them.

After the truck ran off the road and crashed into a snow bank, a man matching Dorner's description was seen running to a cabin where he barricaded himself in.

$1m reward

Reports say the police fired tear gas into the building and used a loudspeaker to urge the gunman to surrender.

Officials used a demolition vehicle to tear down the walls of the cabin.

Christopher Dorner in military uniform in 2008 Christopher Dorner also had military experience

Shortly afterwards, a single gunshot was heard inside the building as fire began to spread through the cabin. It is not clear how the blaze started.

Los Angeles police officials had offered a $1m (£630,000) reward for information leading to Dorner's arrest, receiving more than 1,000 tips.

The former Navy reservist is suspected of killing three people in a spree across southern California, including a policeman.

Police have been protecting about 50 families, many belonging to former LAPD colleagues, against whom Dorner had vowed revenge for allegedly ruining his career.

He was fired for making false statements, after making a complaint against his field training officer, saying she had kicked a suspect during an arrest.

His killing spree began on 3 February when he shot dead the daughter of a former police captain who represented him at his police disciplinary board, and her fiance.

Dorner apparently believed the woman's father, Randal Quan, had not defended him adequately.

In an online manifesto, Dorner, who is black, suggested that racism was still rife in the LAPD.

It was an unwelcome allegation for a department that overhauled itself after the notorious police beating in 1991 of a black man, Rodney King.

At the weekend, the LAPD's chief of police said the department would re-examine the case that led to Dorner losing his job, a key grievance in the suspect's online essay.

He said the move was to demonstrate transparency and "not to appease a murderer".


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