BIG BEAR (CBSLA.com) — The skies cleared up and the snow stopped falling in Big Bear Saturday, allowing crews to intensify their search for accused killer Christopher Dorner.
Various law enforcement teams scoured the San Bernardino Mountains and were able to utilize air support because of the change in weather.
More than a foot of snow had accumulated on Friday making it difficult for tactical teams to comb the area. Their search focused on 200 vacant cabins within an eight-square-mile radius.
“There’s a possibility that he is still here and the possibility exists that he did leave,” said Cindy Bachman of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department during a Friday news conference. “The danger is the fact that he could be out there.”
The news had many residents in the area on edge.
“We went across the street to tell the other neighbor, ‘Hey, we are going to leave our car here and please don’t tow it,’ and she could barely talk to us. She was very nervous. Until she realized it was a woman, I wasn’t getting anything across to her,” said a man visiting a vacation home with his family.
So far, authorities have not yet been able to track down Dorner who is accused of murdering 28-year-old Monica Quan and her 27-year-old fiancé Keith Lawrence on Feb. 3.
The couple was found fatally shot inside Lawrence’s Kia in the parking garage of their Irvine condo complex.
Authorities believe Dorner, a former U.S. Navy reservist and ex-LAPD police officer, targeted the daughter of Capt. Randy Quan, in what police are calling a revenge killing.
Dorner is also suspected of fatally shooting a Riverside police officer and wounding two additional police officers on Feb. 7.
On Friday, authorities reported that they found a kicked-in door at one of the cabins which they believe is unrelated to the Dorner search. They also located ski tracks and footprints which authorities attributed to recreational cross country skiers.
Both ski resorts in the area have been cleared. They are expected to remain open on Saturday.
“It’s been the topic of our conversation last night and this morning about what to do and what ways we can prevent situations of danger,” visitor Jamie Erskine said.
“It’s pretty crazy. Right there people are going on with their normal activities and right here everyone’s weirded out, scared,” snowboarder Brandon Carroll said.
Crews suspended their search overnight and planned to continue their efforts Sunday morning.