Manhunt focuses on northern Monroe; AK47 found
BLOOMING GROVE-  On Day 10 of the manhunt for Eric Matthew Frein, now concentrated on northern Monroe County, Governor Tom Corbett held a press briefing Monday at 11 a.m. at the Blooming Grove Municipal Building.

Manhunt focuses on northern Monroe; AK47 found
BLOOMING GROVE-     On Day 10 of the manhunt for  Eric Matthew Frein, now concentrated on northern Monroe County, Governor Tom Corbett held a press briefing Monday at 11 a.m. at the Blooming Grove Municipal Building.
   Expressing his fervent wish that this individual will be apprehended as quickly as possible, Corbett paused to thank the community for their support as well as all the many agencies involved in this investigation.
   Asked if the search was broadening, Lt. Colonel George Bivens, PA State Police Deputy Commissioner, stated, "if anything, the search is narrowing" and said they believe they are "closing in" on the suspect wanted for the deadly ambush of two State Troopers Sept 12th in Blooming Grove, Pike County.
   The Governor said his thoughts and prayers are with the search teams who are pledged to duty, enduring rough, densely wooded terrain under grave risk to their own lives.
    Corbett said that he could not imagine the search not continuing without the present degree of manpower. State Police from across Pennsylvania, as well as New York and New Jersey State Police are assisting. Other states have made offers.
    Corbett said he felt this was a Law Enforcement matter and would not require deployment of the National Guard. "This is not a national emergency or a flood," he said. To deputize the National Guard would be a very unique situation, he added.
••• Found his AK47
     The intense manhunt has continued since the ambush at the PA State Police Troop R, Blooming Grove barracks September 12th left Cpl. Byron Dickson dead and Trooper Alex Douglass critically hurt.
   PA State Police now believe their suspect, Eric Matthew Frein, is somewhere in the dense woods in northern Monroe County near his hometown of Canadensis, or in an area near the Pike County/Monroe County border. Pressing hard on him, State Police say Frein appears to be on the move but making mistakes, losing or abandoning items along the way.
   Most notably, searchers located his AK47, some magazine clips and ammunition. Frein is still believed to be armed and extremely dangerous; he may still have the .308 caliber rifle used to fire upon the troopers when this drama first unfolded.
   This information came forth at a press conference Sunday afternoon at the Blooming Grove Township Municipal Building, the first press briefing the State Police have given since the Thursday previous.
Bivens led the Sunday briefing and displayed a large aerial picture of the Monroe County search area and a picture of the AK47 propped up in the woods.
  For a period of over 24 hours, State Police were hunkered down in Canadensis, and had ordered residents to stay in their homes and away from windows. There was a travel ban in both Barrett and adjacent Price townships. Inconvenienced and jittery residents were offered the Barrett Township fire house as an emergency shelter.
   That travel ban was lifted Saturday night and residents were allowed to return to their homes or leave, advising extreme caution.
Bivens stated that initial sound of gunfire early Friday evening may have been unrelated, and there was never an exchange of shots with the suspect.
    He stated that their investigation gave reason to believe he was in the area although there was never an opportunity to apprehend Frein. Out of abundance of caution, State Police ordered the travel restrictions, and he took the chance to publicly thank the community for their support, patience and understanding.
   According to what investigators have ascertained from the many interviews conducted and evidence found, Bivens said that they sense Frein has been planning this event for a very months, perhaps years.
Statements he had made to others evidently not taken seriously and unfortunately never reported to police.
    Police believe Frein had done surveillance of the Blooming Grove barracks on Route 402 “for an extended period of time.” Why Frein targeted Blooming Grove barracks is not clear.
    This past week the massive search concentrated on central Pike County for a general radius not disclosed by police. His Jeep Cherokee has been found two days after the shooting abandoned in a retention pond, only a couple miles north of the State Police barracks.
   Bivens said that Frein is believed to have walked the 15 to 20 miles to Canadensis.
   The Deputy Commissioner would not elaborate on other items located, that are believed to have been left behind by Frein. The AK47, magazine clips and ammo were found only partly concealed, in the general area where the Jeep was found. It was not known if Frein meant to come back for the AK47 or chose to leave one weapon behind.
   Frein is not known to have had any help from accomplices.
   Although he is believed to be back in his own familiar “backyard” and may have thought this gave him an advantage, Bivens warned that their tactical operations team has also become familiar with the rugged terrain, and are closing in.
   Their trackers- both canine and human- have given indication the investigation is on the right track and they are confident Frein is in this area of the Poconos, Bivens said.
   Still, they are taking tips from the public and are checking all of them. Their focus of search could change as information progresses.

••• How hunters can help

   Archery Season is about to start. Bivens asked bow hunters to refrain from entering the Delaware State Forest or the current search area until the defendant is captured. He also asked hunters to review any trail camera footage taken in recent days. If they see anything suspicious, contact the State Police. Hunters are likewise asked to assist by letting police know of any shelters or bunkers in the woods where Frein could hide, or perhaps even constructed.
    There have been hundreds of tips given, many of them credible.
Several possible sightings have been reported, and each one is checked.
   He would not comment on whether Frein has a cell phone and if they can track him or if any calls have occurred.
   Frein has not been in communication with his family as far as State Police is aware, Bivens stated.
   There had been a rumor that “bounty hunters” were looking for Frein. Bivens said that State Police have not encountered any; he added that anyone doing their own private search could be endangering themselves and interfering with the police investigation. There is a total of $175,000 in awards on Frein’s head, for tips leading to his arrest and conviction.
   The PA State Police remain focused on finding Frein “until he is apprehended,” Bivens said. The State Police also has commitments from other law enforcement agencies to persevere in the search. Troopers from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are being pulled in.
 
••• Wallenpaupack back open

   Whether school districts that have been closed are safe to reopen, Bivens said this decision remains up to the school administrators. The State Police share what information they can with the school officials. He reiterated that State Police had no reason to believe Frein was posing a threat to anyone but Law Enforcement.
    Wallenpaupack Area School District was reopening Monday, although students would be kept inside.  Certain after school outdoor events would be allowed with a strong presence of school security. The Wallenpaupack schools were shut down Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week out of safety concerns due to the manhunt in Pike County.
   Pocono Mountain area schools were closed again, Monday, for the fourth school day.
••• Call with tips

  The public is reminded that Frein may have his head shaved tightly on both sides with long hair on top, wider than a Mohawk. This hairstyle is completely different from the hairstyle Frein had worn for years. Keep in mind, Frein may have changed his appearance since he was last seen.
    Frein is 6'01" tall, weighs 165 pounds and has brown eyes and brown hair.
     PA State Police is recommending a number of precautions for the public:
 •        First and foremost be alert and vigilant. If you see any vehicles or individuals that are out of the ordinary, please report them to 911 or our tip line (866-326-7256) immediately.
•        Do not approach or encounter any suspicious persons or vehicles, but rather report them immediately. The suspect is still considered armed and dangerous.
•        Lock all doors to both your residence and your vehicles.
•        At night, keep the exterior of your home well-lit.
•        Look for open shed doors or other locations that were once secure.