As Christopher Dorner was charged Monday with murdering a Riverside policeman, court documents revealed that authorities believe an accomplice may have helped the disgraced ex-LAPD officer's getaway.
As the manhunt unfolded in the snowy mountains with the finding of Dorner's torched truck, a federal affidavit states, someone may have assisted the fugitive and "there is probable cause" to believe Dorner may already be in Mexico. His wallet and ID were found Thursday near the San Ysidro Port of Entry at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The unidentified associate has a relative with a Big Bear cabin, and that person was spotted Thursday in Costa Mesa, the affidavit states, suggesting authorities know this person's name. This new information materialized Monday in a federal arrest warrant affidavit, which was filed last week. The federal affidavit is part of the capital murder case against Dorner.
With a $1 million reward in place, a sweeping manhunt continued today for the fired Los Angeles Police Department officer suspected of killing an Irvine couple and a Riverside police officer.
Dorner, 33, of LaPalma, was charged with capital murder today by Riverside County prosecutors for the Thursday morning shooting death of Riverside Police Officer Michael Crain. Dorner was also charged with three counts of attempted murder for the shooting of Crain's partner and a shooting attack on two LAPD officers in Corona. One of the LAPD officers suffered a graze wound in that shooting, which occurred about 15-20 minutes before Crain and his partner were attacked, police said
The search for Dorner has been centered in recent days in the Big Bear area, where the former officer's pickup truck was found burning Thursday afternoon. But according to the federal arrest warrant affidavit filed last week, U.S. authorities believe Dorner may have already fled to Mexico.
The affidavit notes that Dorner's truck was found near property owned in the Big Bear area by relatives of a known Dorner associate, who was spotted early Thursday afternoon in Costa Mesa. The affidavit also notes that Dorner's ``personal belongings, including his wallet and identification cards,'' were found near the U.S.-Mexico border at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
On Feb. 3, Dorner allegedly gunned down the daughter and future son-in- law of the ex-police captain who represented him at a hearing that resulted in his dismissal from the LAPD. The bodies of 28-year-old college basketball coach Monica Quan and her fiance, 27-year-old Keith Lawrence, were found in Lawrence's car in the parking structure of their Irvine condominium building. The next day, Dorner allegedly posted a 6,000-word manifesto on Facebook, vowing to kill named LAPD officers and their families. As a result, 50 current or former Los Angeles police officers and their families are being watched, authorities said.
On Thursday, Dorner was allegedly involved in the shootout with Los Angeles police guarding an officer's home in Corona, leaving an LAPD officer with a graze wound to the head, police said. About 20 minutes later, he allegedly fired on the pair of Riverside police officers stopped at a red light, killing Crain, 34, and wounding the other. The wounded officer was expected to recover.
Crain, an 11-year department veteran, was a former Marine. He is survived by his wife, Regina, and two children, Ian, 10, and Kaitlyn, 4. Crain left ``an unforgettable impression'' on everyone he met, Riverside police Lt. Guy Toussaint said. Crain's funeral is set for Wednesday.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Sunday announced a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Dorner, saying the money came from ``business, unions, government, law enforcement and community groups.'' Police Chief Charlie Beck said the massive reward was his wife's idea, calling it ``the largest award ever offered locally.'' LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman said this morning that hundreds of local, state and federal investigators have been sorting through more than 600 clues in their search for Dorner.
A reported sighting at a Northridge home-improvement store on Sunday led to an hours-long search. Neiman urged anyone with information on Dorner's possible whereabouts to call (213) 486-6860, or Crime Stoppers, (800) 222-TIPS. However, anyone seeing Dorner should call 911 immediately, Neiman said.
The search for Dorner, meanwhile, continued to include the area around Big Bear, where his pickup truck was found Thursday, but it was scaled back. An LAPD tactical alert that had been in effect over the weekend was lifted about 7 this morning. However, motorcycle patrols remained suspended by the LAPD as a security measure, according to the department.
According to the federal arrest warrant affidavit, someone claiming to be Dorner called Quan's father around 12:30 p.m. Thursday, telling the retired police captain he ``should have done a better job of protecting his daughter.'' U.S. Marshals Service Inspector Craig McClusky wrote in the affidavit that the call was traced to Vancouver, Wash., but based on other evidence, including sightings of Dorner,
``I do not believe that he was in Washington at the time of that call.'' McClusky wrote that there is ``probable cause'' to believe Dorner has traveled ``from California to Mexico with the intent to avoid prosecution.''
Beck said Sunday that the crimes attributed to Dorner in the past week amounted to ``an act of domestic terrorism.'' ``This is a man who has targeted those that we entrust to protect the public. This is not about capturing a suspect, this is about preventing a future attack, maybe a murder,'' Beck said.
Donors to the $1 million reward fund for information leading to Dorner's arrest and conviction include police officer associations in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Irvine, Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Dodgers and entertainment conglomerate AEG contributed, as did United Firefighters of Los Angeles, the Association of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputies, the FBI, First Watch, the city and county of Riverside and six anonymous donors, officials said.
--Nancy Wride contributed to this report