BLOOMING GROVE, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – State police searching for a man accused of killing a trooper said Tuesday they found two pipe bombs in the Pennsylvania woods during their manhunt that were capable of causing significant damage.
The bombs were not deployed, but they were fully functional and had both trip wires and fuses, Lt. Col. George Bivens said at a news conference.
The weapons were among several items that were “clearly hastily discarded” at a campsite used by suspect Eric Frein, said Bivens, who then called on the fugitive to surrender.
“You are clearly stressed,” Bivens said. “You are making significant mistakes.”
He also says there has been at least one credible sighting of Frein in the past 24 hours.
Police also say they have found some weapons that Frein left behind, theorizing that he just couldn’t carry them all.
They have confiscated the weapons.
Eric Frein, 31, has been on the run since Sept. 12, accused of killing one state trooper and wounding a second outside their barracks.
Frein’s car was found submerged in a swamp several miles from the barracks a few days after the shooting.
“I think things went wrong with his plan,” Bivens said.
Frein is described as a self-taught survivalist with a vendetta against law enforcement.
Authorities believe he’s hiding in the thick woods near his parents’ home in Canadensis.
Police said last week they were treating the search area as if it was booby-trapped. They had also previously said they had evidence Frein had been experimenting with explosives.
Police say they have also found other items that appear to be discarded, but weren’t prepared to say what those items were.
The disclosure comes as deer hunters prepare for bow season to open this weekend. Hunters are being asked to keep an eye out for cabins or other structures that look like they’ve been tampered with or used by Frein. It’s not yet clear if the Pennsylvania Game Commission will impose any restrictions during the manhunt, Bivens said.
Law enforcement officers have found several structures where they believe Frein has stayed. Police also know what Frein is eating and drinking, but Bivens declined to provide specifics.
Authorities say Frein has a vendetta against law enforcement and ambushed two troopers during a shift change. Cpl. Bryon Dickson was killed and Tpr. Alex Douglass Douglass remains hospitalized with unspecified injuries. Bivens said Douglass has a long road to recovery.
Dickson wasn’t even supposed to work the night of the ambush, according to Bivens, but was filling in for another trooper. He said there’s no evidence to suggest Frein deliberated targeted the troopers he shot.
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