Eric Frein Captured, Manhunt Over
Eric Frein has been captured.
Frein, the man suspected of killing one Pennsylvania state policeman and injuring another during an ambush in September, was taken into custody on Thursday — reportedly surrendering peacefully, but appearing before photographers later with a gash across the bridge of his nose.
— CBS Philly (@CBSPhilly) October 31, 2014
The 31-year-old Frein, who was one of the FBI’s 10-most-wanted fugitives, reportedly was armed when U.S. Marshals found him at a hanger at a small, abandoned airport in Tannersville. That’s about 35 miles from the scene of the Sept. 12 attack on the state police barracks in Blooming Grove.
WPVI-TV, citing sources, said marshals on routine patrol found him inside the hangar at the old Birchwood-Pocono Airpark, which was built in the early 1960s for a local resort and closed in 1998. Sources told KYW-TV he was arrested while trying to enter the hangar.
Around 6pm, the group observed Frein walking towards the airport hangar in the middle of the field and ordered him to stop.
Frein followed their orders and was symbolically arrested with the handcuffs of fallen State Trooper Cpl Bryon Dickson – the man Frein allegedly killed.
Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan spoke at a press conference Thursday night and said Frein was ‘taken by surprise.’
‘He did not just give up because he was tired,’ he said. ‘He gave up because he was caught.’
Frein is accused of killing State Police Cpl. Bryon Dickson and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass in an ambush on the Blooming Grove barracks on Sept. 12. Police found a diary entry, his AK-47, two homemade pipe bombs and several campsites, they but hadn’t been able to capture him until Thursday.
In addition to the trooper shootings, Frein is charged with two counts of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction after the pipe bombs were found. The shrapnel-packed pipe bombs were booby-trapped with trip wires and could have caused serious injury to anyone nearby, authorities said.
His capture marks the end of a month-long, intensive manhunt in the Pocono Mountains.
As we reported back in September, Frein, 31, was described by police as a “survivalist,” who had expressed interest in killing law enforcement officers and committing acts of mass murder.
CNN reports the manhunt involved as many as 1,000 law enforcement officers and cost several million dollars.
Saying Frein was armed and extremely dangerous, officials had closed schools and urged residents to be alert and cautious. Using dogs, thermal imaging technology and other tools, law enforcement officials combed miles of forest as they hunted for Frein, whom they called an experienced survivalist at home in the woods.
They pursued countless tips and closed in on an area around Frein’s parents’ home in Canadensis after he used his cellphone to try contacting them and the signal was traced to a location about 3 miles away. At times police ordered nearby residents to stay inside or prevented them from returning home.
Everyone from residents to the president of Pocono Raceway to U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey is congratulating the authorities involved in tracking for nearly seven weeks and, finally Thursday, apprehending alleged cop killer Eric Frein.
“My deepest thanks to the Pennsylvania State Police and the numerous other law enforcement agencies that diligently worked to successfully apprehend Eric Frein tonight in Monroe County,” Toomey, R-Pa., said Thursday in a statement.