Sheriff: We Did Not Intentionally Set Dorner Fire

Jim, Karen Reynolds say they first alerted police, not maids

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff | Suggested by GeorgeL

Posted Feb 14, 2013 7:18 AM CST | Updated Feb 14, 2013 7:55 AM CST

(Newser) – Though authorities are unable to "absolutely, positively confirm" that the burned body found in Big Bear cabin is that of Christopher Dorner, they "believe the investigation is over at this point," says Sheriff John McMahon. McMahon also yesterday asserted that police did not intentionally burn down the cabin; rather, the "pyrotechnic-type" tear gas rounds (known as "burners") intended to flush him out likely started the blaze, reports USA Today. In other Dorner developments:

  • Jim and Karen Reynolds insist that it wasn't two maids who alerted the police to Dorner's location; it was them, and they have the harrowing tale to prove it. The couple tell the Los Angeles Times that they went to their condo on Tuesday to clean and found Dorner, with a "big gun" inside. Karen tried to run but he grabbed them, took them to a bedroom, secured their arms and legs with zip ties, stuffed towels in their mouths, and covered their heads with pillowcases. He repeatedly said he did not intend to hurt the couple before he drove off in their purple Nissan.
  • But as the AP reports, a series of gaffes did Dorner in. Notable among them: Karen Reynolds was able to access her cellphone on a nearby table and dial 911 just two minutes after they heard Dorner leave.
  • More mishaps: After his first two killings, Dorner apparently tried to steal a boat in San Diego and flee to Mexico, but the Navy veteran tangled a rope in the outboard motor and couldn't start it. Then he fled to the Big Bear Lake resort area, where his truck axle broke, stranding him just ahead of a heavy snowstorm.

San Bernardino County Sheriff, John McMahon talks to the media during a news conference about the search for fired Los Angeles police officer, Christopher Dorner in Big Bear Lake, Calif. Friday, Feb....   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
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