An assault rifle and ammunition belonging to the fugitive suspect in the shooting of two Pennsylvania troopers have been found, officials said Sunday, as their manhunt stretched into a ninth day.
Officials said Eric Frein, 31, was likely planning his attack - and escape - for months or years. Frein, 31, who is accused of killing Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Bryon Dickson with a high-powered rifle, has evaded capture despite a massive manhunt and billboards informing the public that he is now on the FBI’s most-wanted list.
At a press conference on Sunday, Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said that troopers tracking Frein have located various items that the suspect either left behind or stored beforehand. "Based on our investigations we know that Frein has planned and prepared extensively for months and maybe years," Bivens said.
Some of the items found in about a 250 square mile area included a AK-47-style assault rifle and several magazines. "He has been planning and preparing for a confrontation," said Bivens. "To get him ready for that shooting and also for his escape from the situation."
He said that investigators believe they are close to Frein, who is native to the wooded area in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.
"Up until now his advantage has been that this is his backyard, this is his backyard," said Bivens. “Now our tactical people know the area, and we’re pushing him hard."
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— Elisha Fieldstadt and Hasani Gittens