SAN DIEGO - With a $1 million reward on offer for information leading to his capture and conviction, triple-murder suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner remained the target of a massive manhunt Tuesday, with the dragnet now stretching across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Investigators raided a hotel in Tijuana on Monday for Dorner, a former Los Angeles police officer.
The Hotel Tapatio was searched by more than 20 officers. No evidence of Dorner was found on the property, but officers responded quickly after someone reported seeing Dorner at the hotel.
Dorner is a former LAPD officer who is accused of killing three people and attempting to kill another three. Authorities have put up a $1 million reward for information leading to his arrest.
10News has been poring over the criminal complaint brought Monday against Dorner and has learned what brought authorities to Big Bear late last week.
According to the document, U.S. marshals had been tracking the movements of a known associate of Dorner's, who was referred to as "J.Y."
A family member of J.Y. owns residential property in Arrow Bear, which is near Big Bear.
While conducting surveillance on the property, authorities found a vehicle nearby matching Dorner's Nissan Titan. Hours later, a U.S. marshal spotted J.Y. in Costa Mesa.
The U.S. marshal cited in the criminal complaint said based on his knowledge, there is probable cause to believe that Dorner has moved and traveled from California to Mexico.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection was expected to increase its scrutiny of vehicles traveling into Mexico amid the burgeoning search for Dorner.
Dorner caught on camera with scuba gear 2 days before killings
TMXZ has released a surveillance video of Dorner buying scuba gear at a sporting goods store in Torrance, two days before he allegedly started his killing spree.
The video shows Dorner at the counter with two small air tanks and a large one. A store employee told 10News he had them re-filled with oxygen.
Dorner, who wa sa member of a naval undersea warfare unit, paid cash for the items and left.
Search for Dorner continues
Dorner was charged with capital murder Monday by Riverside County prosecutors for the Thursday morning fatal shooting of Riverside Police Officer Michael Crain. Dorner was also charged with three counts of attempted murder for the shooting of Crain's partner and a shooting attack on two LAPD officers in Corona. One of the LAPD officers suffered a graze wound in that shooting, which occurred about 15-20 minutes before Crain and his partner were attacked, police said.
The search for Dorner has been centered in recent days in the Big Bear area of San Bernardino County, where the former officer's pickup truck was found burning Thursday afternoon. But according to a federal arrest warrant affidavit filed last week, U.S. authorities believe Dorner may have already fled to Mexico.
The affidavit notes that Dorner's truck was found near property owned in the Big Bear area by relatives of a known Dorner associate, who was spotted early Thursday afternoon in Costa Mesa. The affidavit also notes that Dorner's "personal belongings, including his wallet and identification cards," were found Thursday by San Diego police near the U.S.-Mexico border at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
On Feb. 3, Dorner allegedly gunned down the daughter and future son-in-law of the ex-police captain who represented him at a hearing that resulted in his dismissal from the LAPD. The bodies of 28-year-old college basketball coach Monica Quan and her fiance, 27-year-old Keith Lawrence, were found in Lawrence's car in the parking structure of their Irvine condominium building.
The next day, Dorner allegedly posted a 6,000-word manifesto on Facebook, vowing to kill named LAPD officers and their families. Fifty Los Angeles police officers and their families are being watched, authorities said.
On Thursday, Dorner was allegedly involved in the shootout with Los Angeles police guarding an officer's home in Corona, leaving an LAPD officer with a graze wound to the head, police said. About 20 minutes later, he allegedly fired on the pair of Riverside police officers stopped at a red light, killing Crain, 34, and wounding the other. The wounded officer was expected to recover.
Crain, an 11-year department veteran, was a former Marine. He is survived by his wife, Regina, and two children, Ian, 10, and Kaitlyn, 4. Crain left "an unforgettable impression" on everyone he met, Riverside police Lt. Guy Toussaint said. His funeral is set for Wednesday.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Sunday announced a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Dorner, saying the money came from "business, unions, government, law enforcement and community groups."
Police Chief Charlie Beck said the massive reward was his wife's idea and called it "the largest award ever offered locally."
LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman said Monday that hundreds of local, state and federal investigators have been sorting through clues in their search for Dorner. A reported sighting at a Northridge home-improvement store on Sunday led to an hours-long search. On Monday, a man matching Dorner's description was questioned by police as he exited a KFC restaurant in Tarzana.
Neiman urged anyone with information on Dorner's possible whereabouts to call (213) 486-6860, or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS. However, anyone seeing Dorner should call 911 immediately, Neiman said.
The search for Dorner, meanwhile, continued to include the area around Big Bear, where his torched pickup truck was found Thursday, but it was scaled back.
According to a federal arrest warrant affidavit, someone claiming to be Dorner called Quan's father around 12:30 p.m. Thursday, telling the retired police captain he "should have done a better job of protecting his daughter."
U.S. Marshals Service Inspector Craig McClusky wrote in the affidavit that the call was traced to Vancouver, Wash., but based on other evidence, including sightings of Dorner, "I do not believe that he was in Washington at the time of that call."
McClusky wrote that there is "probable cause" to believe Dorner has traveled "from California to Mexico with the intent to avoid prosecution."