Saying they wanted to clear up widespread confusion about what caused Christopher Dorner to surface on Tuesday, the owners of a Big Bear resort complex came forward Wednesday night to say they had been taken hostage by the fugitive.
Karen and Jim Reynolds, owners of the Mountain Vista Resort, told an impromptu press conference that they entered one of the units just before noon and were confronted by Dorner, NBC LA reported.
"He was in the upstairs part and that's where the living room is," said Karen Reynolds. "He opened the door and came out at us and he had this gun drawn."
Karen Reynolds tried to run, but Dorner caught her and tied her up along with her husband.
"I thought we were dead," said James Reynolds. "Really, pretty scary."
The couple said Dorner was calm and repeatedly said he only wanted to clear his name.
"He talked about how he could see Jim working on the snow everyday," said Karen Reynolds — an indication that Dorner may have been in the area since late last week when a snowstorm hit Big Bear. At that time, the joint law enforcement effort was holding daily press briefings at a building across the street from the Reynolds' property.
Law enforcement officials said Tuesday that the hostages were housekeepers. Karen Reynolds said she may have caused the confusion in her 911 call when she expressed concern for the housekeepers who were working in an adjacent unit.
Dorner was first spotted in the area last Thursday when his truck was found burning. A massive manhunt was launched to no avail. The San Bernardino Sheriffs Department said it tried to search every home in the area, but at a Wednesday afternoon press conference, a spokeman would not say whether they had searched the Reynolds' property.
Dorner was not spotted again until Tuesday when he confronted the Reynolds' and stole their 2011 Nissan Rogue. Karen Reynolds was able to use her cell phone to call police. California Fish and Wildlife officers soon encountered Dorner, but he eluded them and then hijacked another vehicle, which he crashed and abandoned.
He ran into a cabin and entered into a firefight with officers. Tear gas cannisters fired into the cabin may have started a fire. Charred remains were found inside the home, along with Dorner's driver's license. Law enforcement authorities are confident the remains belong to Dorner, though they are waiting for official confirmation from the coroner.
Below is a map of the area where a man believed to be Christopher Dorner was spotted. It shows where Dorner's Nissan truck was located on Feb. 7. It also marks the location of the Reynolds condo on Club View Drive, where Dorner was first spotted Feb. 12. The suspect was chased by authorities south, where he crashed his vehicle at Highway 38 and Glass Road, then fled on foot northward to a cabin in the Angelus Oaks area, which burned down.
View Christopher Dorner Manhunt and Gun Battles in the Big Bear area. in a larger map