Crime & Justice

Coroner confirms that remains from Big Bear cabin are Christopher Dorner

Murder suspect and former LAPD officer Christopher Jordan Dorner in an image with then-LAPD Chief Bill Bratton, in the August 2006 issue of the department's magazine BEAT.
Murder suspect and former LAPD officer Christopher Jordan Dorner in an image with then-LAPD Chief Bill Bratton, in the August 2006 issue of the department's magazine BEAT.

The San Bernardino County Coroner confirmed Thursday afternoon that the charred remains pulled from a burned-out cabin in Big Bear were indeed those of fugitive ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, who was wanted in the murder of four people.

The coroner made the identification from dental records, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department announced.

RELATED: LAPD manhunt: The search for murder suspect Christopher Dorner

The coroner did not announce a cause of death.

There were reports of a single gunshot from inside the Big Bear-area cabin where Dorner had barricaded himself Tuesday evening as a fire broke out after deputies fired incendiary grenades into it in an effort to flush Dorner out. Dorner never exited the cabin, and his charred remains were removed after the fire was out and the ruined cabin had cooled off.

The LAPD has lifted the protection details assigned to those named in Dorner's manifesto, spokesman Richard French said, the Associated Press's Tami Abdollah reports.

Police also identified the officer who was injured when he and his partner were ambushed last week by Dorner. Riverside Police officials told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that Andrew Tachias was shot several times in the arms and shoulders. They say he is recovering after an hourslong surgery on Wednesday.
Tachias' partner Michael Crain died in the shooting. A memorial service was held Wednesday.

The identification was the final event in a week-long manhunt for the former Navy reservist and police officer who was accused of shooting and killing a Riverside police officer, a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy, the daughter of a former LAPD captain and her fiance.

Dorner posted a lengthy "manifesto" on Facebook airing his grievances against the LAPD and others he said had wronged him and threatening to bring "warfare" to LAPD officers and their families.

The manhunt brought police to Big Bear Lake, 80 miles east of Los Angeles, where they found Dorner's burned-out pickup truck abandoned. His footprints disappeared on frozen soil, and hundreds of officers who searched the area and checked out each building failed to find him.

Dorner resurfaced on Tuesday afternoon from a condo across the street from a law enforcement command center after briefly taking the condo's two owners hostage. 

The couple believes Dorner had been staying in the cabin at least since Feb. 8, the day after his burned truck was found nearby. 

Dorner then fled in their purple Nissan Rogue. One of the hostages managed to call 911 from a cellphone on the coffee table. After a chase and two exchanges of gunfire with law enforcement officers, Dorner wound up inside a cabin in the Seven Oaks area near Big Bear.

All told, police allege that Dorner shot six people, two of whom survived: A Riverside police officer and a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department was expected to hold a briefing for the press on Friday at 4 p.m., where they were expected to release more details about Dorner's fate.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck released a statement on the future of the $1 million reward offered for information leading to Christopher Dorner.

"Now that the search for Christopher Dorner appears to have concluded, we are addressing the issue of the $1 million reward. More than 20 jurisdictions and entities are involved in this reward, so all of them will be coming together to collectively determine whether any individual or individuals qualify for it. Our personal hope is that the reward will be distributed, but we must follow the rules and respect the procedures of each entity."

This story has been updated.