Pennsylvania schools closed after second sighting of alleged cop-killing survivalist
A Pennsylvania school district closed on Tuesday after another possible sighting of Eric Frein, the sniper accused of killing one state trooper and wounding another, near a post office close to the fugitive’s former high school, officials said.
The reported sighting on Monday afternoon of Frein, who is on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for the Sept. 12 ambush, is the second since Friday in the same area of the Pocono Mountains, roughly 100 miles (160 km) north of Philadelphia.
“A local police officer from Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department observed a man dressed in green in the woods,” Trooper Tom Kelly, spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Police, said in a statement.
A search of the woods failed to locate Frein, 31, a survivalist and expert marksman who authorities say has a long-standing grudge against law enforcement.
On Friday, a woman out for a walk told police she saw a man carrying a rifle with a scope and mud smeared on his face near the high school Frein attended. Police have said they believe the man was Frein.
Wendy Frable, spokeswoman for Pocono Mountain Area School District, said on Tuesday the district decided to close its schools, which serve 9,400 students and have 1,000 employees, because of the latest report.
The closures include the high school in Swiftwater that Frein attended, participating on the rifle team. Police told Frable the school and surrounding area would be scoured by search teams.
Frein has managed to stay one step ahead of a massive manhunt in the thick Pocono Mountain forests for more than a month. The search had focused on the woods bordering Pike County and Monroe County, where Frein had lived with his parents in the town of Canadensis until a few weeks before the attack.
Frein, described as an avid Eastern Europe Cold War re-enactor, is being sought in the shooting death of Corporal Bryon Dickson and wounding of Trooper Alex Douglass outside their Blooming Grove, Pennsylvania, barracks in Pike County during a shift change.
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Bill Trott)