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The search area in the manhunt for accused cop-killer Eric Frein is narrowing amid a wave of "credible" tips, authorities said Monday. "I do believe we are close to him at this point," Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said, confirming that search teams were focusing on an area in northern Monroe County near the border of Pike County.
Frein, 31, is accused of fatally shooting Cpl. Bryon Dickson and critically wounding Trooper Alex Douglass in a Sept. 12 ambush on the Blooming Grove barracks that landed him on the FBI's most-wanted list. Police believe he has been hiding out in the woods for 10 days, armed with at least one high-powered rifle, bent on assassinating law-enforcement officers as part of a longstanding grudge.
Some schools have been closed and local residents are afraid to leave their homes, even though investigators believe Frein is only gunning for cops. "The night of the incident...he had the opportunity to shoot civilians at the Blooming Grove barracks so it is our conclusion he is aimed totally at police officers," Gov. Tom Corbett said.
Paul Keat, 41, who lives in the search area with his two toddlers, said he can see three police officers from his home and hear helicopters whirring above. "I'm not even going to attempt to step out of my house," said Keat, who was blocked from returning to his home for 12 hours over the weekend when he dashed out to get groceries and diapers.
He had to miss work on Monday and was thinking of decamping to a cousin's house in New Jersey if the search dragged on. "I'm trying to keep them away from the windows," he said of his children as his 2-year-old shouted "Bad guy!" in the background.