BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. - The couple who says they were tied up by homicide suspect Christopher Dorner in a Big Bear cabin spoke publicly for the first time on Wednesday.
Karen and Jim Reynolds say they were tied up by Dorner, not their maids, as authorities first reported.
They own the Mountain Vista Resort and were refurbishing cabin #203. They had not been in there since Feb. 6. When they walked in Tuesday morning, they came face-to-face with Dorner.
The couple said he opened the door and came out at them.
"He had his gun drawn and yelled, 'Stay calm' and ran out," they said.
They said immediately knew it was Dorner.
"When he hollered 'stay calm,' Karen screamed and turned and started running," said Jim. "He ran after her and caught her at the stairs and brought her back."
They said Dorner then tied them up.
"First, he had us lay on the bed and cross our feet. Then, he changed his mind and had me lay on the floor and lay flat and cross my hands and used the plastic ties and pulled them real tight so you couldn't move and cut the circulation off immediately," said Jim.
They said he talked to them the whole time, trying to calm them down.
"[He was] saying very frequently he would not kill us and that's exactly how he said that," they said. "He told us about the man in the boat in San Diego saying he didn't kill him. He wasn't going to kill us. He said it was a means to an end with that man and that's what he wants from us. He needs transportation out of Big Bear."
Jim was anything but calm. He said they thought they were going to die.
"When he had me laying on the ground, yes, I really did," he said. "I thought he changed his mind."
They said Dorner left for a moment but came back.
"Came back with an extension cord... grabbed a pillow case and tied it around our head," they said.
The ordeal lasted 15 minutes and then Dorner stole the couple's vehicle, leaving them and their cellphones. They explained how they worked together to escape.
"I was able to shuffle over onto my knees… scoot over to the bed and get onto my feet and shuffled over to where he was and got the door open," said Karen.
That is when she pulled the pillow cases off their heads and they called 911. The couple said they believe Dorner could see the command center from where he was hiding.