(LOS ANGELES) — Investigators have located charred human remains in the burned-out California cabin where they believe suspected cop killer and ex-Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner was holed up as the structure burned to the ground, police said.
The human remains were found within the debris of the burned cabin and identification will be attempted through forensic means, the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department said in a press release early Wednesday morning.
Dorner barricaded himself in the cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear Tuesday afternoon after engaging in a gunfight with police, killing one officer and injuring another, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.
Cindy Bachman, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, which is the lead agency in the action, said on Tuesday night that investigators would remain at the site all night.
When Bachman was asked if police thought Dorner was still in the burning cabin, she said, “Right….We believe that the person that barricaded himself inside the cabin engaged in gunfire with our deputies and other law enforcement officers is still inside there, even though the building burned.”
Bachman spoke shortly after the Los Angeles Police Department denied earlier reports that a body was found in the cabin, contradicting what law enforcement sources told ABC News and other news organizations.
Police around the cabin told ABC News they saw Dorner enter but never leave the building as it was consumed by flames, creating a billowing column of black smoke seen for miles.
A press conference is scheduled for later Wednesday in San Bernardino.
The sheriff’s deputy killed during the shootout with Dorner Tuesday afternoon is believed to be his fourth victim after killing an LAPD officer and two other people this month, including the daughter of a former police captain.
Police received a 911 call at 12:20 p.m. PT that a suspect resembling Dorner had broken into a home in the Big Bear area, taken two hostages and stolen a car.
The two hostages, who were tied up by Dorner but later escaped, were evaluated by paramedics and were determined to be uninjured.
Officials say Dorner crashed the stolen vehicle and fled on foot to the cabin where he barricaded himself and exchanged fire with deputies from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office and state Fish and Game officers.
The deputy who was wounded in the firefight with Dorner Tuesday afternoon is expected to survive, police said.
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Morgan Loew, CNN
Frank Pallotta, CNN
Tal Kopan, CNN
Samira Said, CNN