On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that the charred human remains found in a burned-out cabin in southern California have been positively identified as belonging to former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, who was the target of an intense manhunt that ended in a gunfight and a burning cabin. The actual cause of Dorner’s death, however, was not reported.
According to spokeswoman Jodi Miller, Dorner’s body was identified using dental records.
The AP said that an autopsy report was still being completed, and “toxicology tests typically take several weeks to return results.”
“That means questions are likely to linger over which of three ways Dorner may have died: Was it the hail of gunfire that came from the deputies outside? Was it suicide by the single shot that was heard from inside the cabin as the flames began to rise? Or was it the flames themselves that engulfed both Dorner and the cabin?” the AP added.
On Tuesday, the 33-year-old former cop was cornered in a 1920s-era cabin near Seven Oaks. After exchanging gunfire with Dorner, SWAT officers fired pyrotechnic tear-gas grenades called “burners” that set the cabin on fire.
“We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out,” San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon said.
The manhunt began after Dorner reportedly killed Monica Quan and her fiance, Keith Lawrence. Quan was the daughter of longtime LAPD officer Randy Quan, who was Dorner’s police union representative. Authorities say Dorner also shot and killed Michael Crain, a police officer in nearby Riverside, while wounding Crain’s partner.
According to a lengthy manifesto, Dorner promised to go “off the grid” and continue killing police officers and their families to avenge his firing from the Los Angeles Police Department.
Dorner made his way to the Big Bear Lake area, where he hid in a cabin just across the street from the police command post.
After capturing Karen and Jim Reynolds, Dorner tied the couple inside the cabin and stole their vehicle, a purple Nissan Rogue.
Dorner later ditched the Nissan and carjacked another vehicle belonging to Boy Scout camp manager Rick Heltebrake.
After abandoning that vehicle, Dorner hid in the cabin where he eventually died.
Dorner’s mother issued a brief statement to Fox News’ Robin Sax, CNN said.
“It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we express our deepest sympathies and condolences to anyone that suffered losses or injuries resulting from Christopher’s actions. We do not condone Christopher’s actions,” she said.
“The family has no further comments and ask that our privacy be respected during this difficult time,” she added.
Dorner’s entire manifesto can be seen here.