BIG BEAR LAKE -- The search for accused killer Christopher Dorner turned cold Friday as hundreds of lawmen waded through a mountain blizzard hoping to nab the ex-cop accusing a waging a deadly war against police.
As night fell in Big Bear Lake, searchers were left wondering if the former Los Angeles Police Department officer had slipped their dragnet and fled the icy mountain peak.
The manhunt resumes Saturday for the 33-year-old fugitive suspected of killing three people, including a cop, and wounding others on a revenge-filled rampage across Southern California.
“The danger is, there is the possibility that he's still here,” said Cindy Bachman, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. “And the possibility exists that he did leave.”
As snow fell throughout the day, SWAT officers swarmed the woods and homes around the 7,000-foot-high Bear Mountain ski resort, where Dorner's pickup was found torched Thursday morning.
The San Bernardino Sheriff's department said the snowy footprints leading from the burned-out truck were Dorner's.
Searchers followed the tracks for several miles until they disappeared on icy ground.
Riding in armored personnel carriers and snowcat tractors, more than 100 officers canvassed some 200 vacant or empty cabins for the man suspected of a waging a one-man war against targets who he felt had quashed his police career.
Bloodhounds barked. Police in flak jackets and snow goggles went door to door, from tree to tree.
Throughout the night, a dozen two-man teams were expected to be on the lookout, with a full search to resume Saturday morning.
“It is a extremely dangerous situation, but sheriff's deputies are trained,” San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said.
And while authorities endured freezing temperatures in Big Bear, heavily armed police remained on the hunt throughout California, Nevada, Arizona and northern Mexico.
Meanwhile, bogus sightings popped up from the high Mojave Desert to an Indian reservation in San Diego, from Downey to a county jail in Los Angeles.
As the burly ex-cop eluded capture in the San Bernardino Mountains, local and federal police searched his mother's Orange County home, carrying out boxes of evidence, including computers.
His mother and sister, who live at Dorner's last known address in La Palma, were cooperating with officers, police said.
La Palma residents who have been following the news coverage are on edge with the knowledge that someone suspected of killing at least three people this week had been living in their neighborhood. They stayed inside their homes on Friday as heavily armed officers searched the property.
“They're scared,” said local resident Kent Castle, who has lived in the area for 30 years. “It's a ghost town.”
Local resident David Pighin recalled seeing Dorner around the neighborhood.
“He'd park his truck outside. He'd be wearing a military jumpsuit and duffel bag and go inside and not say a thing,” Pighin recalled. “And to find this out, it was quite a shock, to say the least.”
Dorner is wanted in connection with killing an engaged couple in Irvine on Sunday - Monica Quan and her fiance Keith Lawrence. Quan is the daughter of the former LAPD captain who represented Dorner in his efforts to contest his firing from the LAPD in 2008-09.
After that, police say, he went on a vendetta against law enforcement, ambushing two officers in Riverside, killing one and wounding the other, and exchanging gunfire with another pair of officers in Corona. He also issued a rambling 11,000 word manifesto in which he named some 40 targets of his wrath, as well as his admiration for celebrities like Anderson Cooper and Charlie Sheen.
Dorner is described as a 6-foot, 270-pound highly trained marksman and Navy veteran.
In Los Angeles, a report of a possible Dorner sighting led to the lockdown of a county jail.
A civilian employee of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility about 8:45 a.m. reported seeing “somebody outside who resembled suspect Dorner,” according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore.
Officials cordoned off the area and conducted a search, but there were no additional signs of Dorner.