Burned remains found in a California mountain cabin have been positively identified as a fugitive former cop who launched a deadly revenge campaign against the Los Angeles Police Department.
Jodi Miller, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County sheriff-coroner, said the identification was made through Christopher Dorner's dental records. Ms Miller did not give a cause of death.
The search for Dorner began last week after authorities said he had launched the revenge campaign for his firing five years ago, warning that he would bring "warfare" to LAPD officers and their families.
The manhunt brought police to Big Bear Lake, 80 miles (129km) east of Los Angeles, where they found Dorner's burned-out pick-up 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.
Five days later, but just a stone's throw from a command post authorities had set up in the massive manhunt, Karen and Jim Reynolds said they came face to face with Dorner inside their cabin-style condo. The couple said Dorner bound them and put pillowcases on their heads. At one point, he explained that he had been there for days.
"He said 'I don't have a problem with you, so I'm not going to hurt you,'" Jim Reynolds said. "I didn't believe him; I thought he was going to kill us."
Police have not commented on the Reynolds' account, but it renews questions about the thoroughness of a search for a man who authorities declared was armed and extremely dangerous as they hunted him across the south west of the US and Mexico.
"They said they went door-to-door but then he's right there under their noses. Makes you wonder if the police even knew what they were doing," resident Shannon Schroepfer said. "He was probably sitting there laughing at them the whole time."
Law enforcement officers, who had gathered outside daily for briefings, were stunned by the revelation. One official later looking on Google Earth exclaimed that he'd parked right across the street from the Reynolds' cabin each day.
The San Bernardino County sheriff has refused to answer questions about how one of the largest manhunts in years could have missed him.