13 Feb 2013

Charred body found in manhunt for ex-officer

10:00 pm on 13 February 2013

US police say they have found charred remains in the rubble of a burnt-down cabin where a murder suspect had been hiding.

Former officer Christopher Dorner, accused of killing three people, was thought to have barricaded himself in and exchanged fire with police on Tuesday afternoon (local time).

A single gunshot was later heard inside the building at Seven Oaks, south of Big Bear in the San Bernardino mountains, which then began to burn.

Forensic tests are to be carried out to determine if the remains are those of Mr Dorner, the BBC reports.

The 33-year-old gunman had reportedly sworn revenge on police officers he blamed for his sacking in 2008.

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

San Bernardino County Sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller said charred remains had been found inside the cabin, where Mr Dorner is believed to have been holed up.

One officer was killed and another injured in the shoot-out with the suspect at the cabin.

Reports say the police then fired tear gas into the building and used a loudspeaker to urge the gunman to surrender. Shortly after, a gunshot was heard inside the building and a fire began to spread through the cabin.

At an earlier news conference, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Cindy Bachman said police believed the man barricaded inside the cabin was Mr Dorner.

Los Angeles officials had offered a $US1 million reward for information leading to his arrest.

Authorities earlier said that the former officer with Los Angeles Police Department was suspected of killing three people, including a policeman.

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

In an online manifesto, Mr Dorner, a former US Navy reservist, suggested that racism was rife in the LAPD.