Eric Matthew Frein — the survivalist accused of shooting Pennsylvania State Trooper Bryon Dickson — has reportedly been spotted twice over the last few days, stalking through the wooded areas of northeastern Pennsylvania. The suspected cop killer has been leading authorities on a protracted manhunt, which has now dragged on for more than a month.
According to Fox News, the most recent Frein sighting was on Monday, when a member of local law enforcement claims to have seen the fugitive lurking near the post office in the town of Swiftwater. Police were mobilized quickly in response, but once again Frein seems to have slipped away. This latest sighting has prompted the closing of the Pocono Mountain School District today as the post office is close to a high school — which happens to be Frein’s alma mater — and other district facilities.
The Inquisitr reported on another sighting that occurred last Friday, when a woman claimed she spotted Frein at around 9 p.m. near Pocono Mountain East High School. Authorities believe that their search efforts, as well as lack of food, are driving Frein to populated areas. They believe the man has probably been hiding in empty cabins and vacation homes in his attempt to elude capture. State police claimed on Monday they found blood at two homes the search area, but DNA tests found no connection to Frein.
The hunt for Eric Frein has been something of a nightmare roller coaster for residents. Despite the insistence of police that Frein has a grudge against law enforcement and is therefore not targeting civilians, locals are still living in fear. There has been understandable frustration at the seeming inability of authorities to apprehend him, especially when it was reported that the number of troopers searching for him decreased.
Ultimately, people are questioning how one man can continue to baffle the efforts of the local, state and federal authorities, who at one point claimed to be “closing in” on the fugitive. Meanwhile, the manhunt has caused the cancellation of Halloween celebrations and is negatively impacting income from tourism.
The 31-year-old Frein is accused of ambushing the Blooming Grove state trooper barracks on September 12. During his attack, he wounded one trooper and killed another, 38-year-old Cpl. Bryon Dickson. He has been described by his father, Michael Frein, as a marksman who “doesn’t miss.”
Do you think the search for Eric Frein has gone on for too long? What do you think of the local authorities and how they’re handling the situation?
[Image via Huffington Post]