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LAPD Manhunt Leaves Questions

  • Law enforcement officers check a vehicle at a roadblock Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013 near Big Bear, Calif. A  man police believe to be the fugitive ex-Los Angeles officer wanted in three killings was barricaded inside a burning cabin Tuesday after a shootout in this California mountain town that left one deputy dead and another wounded. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

    Law enforcement officers check a vehicle at a roadblock Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013 near Big Bear, Calif. A man police believe to be the fugitive ex-Los Angeles officer wanted in three killings was barricaded inside a burning cabin Tuesday after a shootout in this California mountain town that left one deputy dead and another wounded. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

  • CORRECTS IDENTITY OF HOSTAGES _ Members of the news media are shown outside a home, at left, in Big Bear, Calif., where the owners of the cabin were taken hostage by fugitive Christopher Dorner. Police scoured mountain peaks for days, using everything from bloodhounds to high-tech helicopters in their manhunt for Dorner, a revenge-seeking ex-cop. They had no idea he was hiding among them, possibly holed up in this vacation home across the street from their command post.     (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

    CORRECTS IDENTITY OF HOSTAGES _ Members of the news media are shown outside a home, at left, in Big Bear, Calif., where the owners of the cabin were taken hostage by fugitive Christopher Dorner. Police scoured mountain peaks for days, using everything from bloodhounds to high-tech helicopters in their manhunt for Dorner, a revenge-seeking ex-cop. They had no idea he was hiding among them, possibly holed up in this vacation home across the street from their command post. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

  • FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Los Angeles Police Department shows suspect Christopher Dorner, a former Los Angeles police officer. A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, that a charred body inside the ruins of a mountain cabin that went up in flames is believed to be that of Dorner, suspected in four killings. Other agencies say a body has yet to be found. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Police Department, File)

    FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Los Angeles Police Department shows suspect Christopher Dorner, a former Los Angeles police officer. A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, that a charred body inside the ruins of a mountain cabin that went up in flames is believed to be that of Dorner, suspected in four killings. Other agencies say a body has yet to be found. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Police Department, File)

  • This photo provided by the San Bernardino sheriff's department shows slain San Bernardino Sheriff Deputy Jeremiah MacKay. MacKay was killed Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 during a shootout outside the cabin where fugitive ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner was believed to be barricaded inside in Big Bear, Calif. After the firefight ended, a SWAT team using an armored vehicle broke out the cabin's windows and began knocking down walls. A fire broke out and later charred remains believed to be Dorner's were found. (AP Photo/San Bernardino Sheriff's Department via The Riverside Press-Enterprise)

    This photo provided by the San Bernardino sheriff's department shows slain San Bernardino Sheriff Deputy Jeremiah MacKay. MacKay was killed Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 during a shootout outside the cabin where fugitive ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner was believed to be barricaded inside in Big Bear, Calif. After the firefight ended, a SWAT team using an armored vehicle broke out the cabin's windows and began knocking down walls. A fire broke out and later charred remains believed to be Dorner's were found. (AP Photo/San Bernardino Sheriff's Department via The Riverside Press-Enterprise)

  • Jim Reynolds, 66, right, and wife, Karen Reynolds 57, recount their experience during a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Big Bear Lake, Calif., of being held captive by fugitive Christopher Dorner inside a condo unit they own at Mountain Vista Resort. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Brian van der Brug)  NO FORNS; NO SALES; MAGS OUT; ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER OUT; LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS OUT; VENTURA COUNTY STAR OUT; INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT, TV OUT

    Jim Reynolds, 66, right, and wife, Karen Reynolds 57, recount their experience during a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Big Bear Lake, Calif., of being held captive by fugitive Christopher Dorner inside a condo unit they own at Mountain Vista Resort. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Brian van der Brug) NO FORNS; NO SALES; MAGS OUT; ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER OUT; LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS OUT; VENTURA COUNTY STAR OUT; INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT, TV OUT

  • Jim Reynolds, 66, right, and wife, Karen Reynolds 57, recount their experience during a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Big Bear Lake, Calif., of being held captive by fugitive Christopher Dorner inside a condo unit they own at Mountain Vista Resort. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Brian van der Brug)  NO FORNS; NO SALES; MAGS OUT; ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER OUT; LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS OUT; VENTURA COUNTY STAR OUT; INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT, TV OUT

    Jim Reynolds, 66, right, and wife, Karen Reynolds 57, recount their experience during a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Big Bear Lake, Calif., of being held captive by fugitive Christopher Dorner inside a condo unit they own at Mountain Vista Resort. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Brian van der Brug) NO FORNS; NO SALES; MAGS OUT; ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER OUT; LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS OUT; VENTURA COUNTY STAR OUT; INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT, TV OUT

  • Law enforcement officers check a vehicle at a roadblock Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013 near Big Bear, Calif. A  man police believe to be the fugitive ex-Los Angeles officer wanted in three killings was barricaded inside a burning cabin Tuesday after a shootout in this California mountain town that left one deputy dead and another wounded. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
  • CORRECTS IDENTITY OF HOSTAGES _ Members of the news media are shown outside a home, at left, in Big Bear, Calif., where the owners of the cabin were taken hostage by fugitive Christopher Dorner. Police scoured mountain peaks for days, using everything from bloodhounds to high-tech helicopters in their manhunt for Dorner, a revenge-seeking ex-cop. They had no idea he was hiding among them, possibly holed up in this vacation home across the street from their command post.     (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
  • FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Los Angeles Police Department shows suspect Christopher Dorner, a former Los Angeles police officer. A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, that a charred body inside the ruins of a mountain cabin that went up in flames is believed to be that of Dorner, suspected in four killings. Other agencies say a body has yet to be found. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Police Department, File)
  • This photo provided by the San Bernardino sheriff's department shows slain San Bernardino Sheriff Deputy Jeremiah MacKay. MacKay was killed Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 during a shootout outside the cabin where fugitive ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner was believed to be barricaded inside in Big Bear, Calif. After the firefight ended, a SWAT team using an armored vehicle broke out the cabin's windows and began knocking down walls. A fire broke out and later charred remains believed to be Dorner's were found. (AP Photo/San Bernardino Sheriff's Department via The Riverside Press-Enterprise)
  • Jim Reynolds, 66, right, and wife, Karen Reynolds 57, recount their experience during a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Big Bear Lake, Calif., of being held captive by fugitive Christopher Dorner inside a condo unit they own at Mountain Vista Resort. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Brian van der Brug)  NO FORNS; NO SALES; MAGS OUT; ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER OUT; LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS OUT; VENTURA COUNTY STAR OUT; INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT, TV OUT
  • Jim Reynolds, 66, right, and wife, Karen Reynolds 57, recount their experience during a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Big Bear Lake, Calif., of being held captive by fugitive Christopher Dorner inside a condo unit they own at Mountain Vista Resort. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Brian van der Brug)  NO FORNS; NO SALES; MAGS OUT; ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER OUT; LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS OUT; VENTURA COUNTY STAR OUT; INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT, TV OUT

Big Bear Lake, Calif. — Karen and Jim Reynolds say they came face to face with fugitive Christopher Dorner, not up on a snow-covered mountain trail, but inside their cabin-style condo.

During a 15-minute ordeal just a stone’s throw from a command post authorities set up in the manhunt for the ex-Los Angeles police officer, the couple said, Dorner bound them and put pillowcases on their heads. At one point, he explained that he had been in their condo over the previous days.

“He said ‘I don’t have a problem with you, so I’m not going to hurt you,’ ” Jim Reynolds said. “I didn’t believe him; I thought he was going to kill us.”

Police have not commented on the Reynolds’ account, but it renews questions about the thoroughness of a search for a man who authorities declared was extremely armed and dangerous as they hunted him across the Southwest and Mexico.

“They said they went door-to-door but then he’s right there under their noses. Makes you wonder if the police even knew what they were doing,” said Shannon Schroepfer, who lives near the Reynolds’ cabin. “He was probably sitting there laughing at them the whole time.”

The search for Dorner began last week after authorities said he had launched a deadly campaign of revenge against the Los Angeles Police Department for his firing, warning that he would bring “warfare” to LAPD officers and their families.

The manhunt brought police to Big Bear Lake, a resort town about 80 miles east of Los Angeles where they found Dorner’s burned-out pickup truck abandoned. At some point, heavily armed officers lost his trail.

But the fact that police did not find him — even though he may have been just across the street — was shocking to many, but not totally surprising to some experts familiar with the complications of such a manhunt.

“Chilling. That’s the only word I could use for that,” said Ed Tatosian, a retired SWAT commander for the Sacramento Police Department. “It’s not an unfathomable oversight. We’re human. It happens. It’s chilling (that) it does happen.”

Law enforcement officers, who had gathered outside daily for briefings, were stunned by the revelation. One official later looking on Google Earth exclaimed that he’d parked right across the street from the Reynolds’ cabin each day.