A recent development in the search for suspected cop killer Eric Frein convinced the Pennsylvania Game Commission to shut down all hunting and trapping across seven townships in the state’s northeast. The Game Commission initially warned hunters in the area to be extra cautious when the state archery season opened this Saturday. The discovery of two pipe bombs allegedly left by Frein on Tuesday, however, prompted wildlife officials to instead announce a temporary closure to all hunting and trapping activities in the area. The townships affected are Price, Barrett, and Paradise townships in Monroe County and Blooming Grove, Porter, Lehman, and Greene townships in Pike County.
“While we realize this temporary closure might disappoint some of the hunters and trappers it affects, we’re certain, too, they understand the gravity of the situation, as well as the danger in allowing the seasons to continue as scheduled, given this new information,” said Game Commission Executive Director Matt Hough in a press release. “Plenty of good hunting and trapping opportunities remain outside of the temporarily closed area, and we need hunters to readily adjust their plans to help bring resolution to this case and see that justice is served.”
The Associated Press reported that the pipe bombs were found in a heavily wooded area of the Pocono Mountains, where more than 1,000 law enforcement officers converged after a shooting earlier this month that resulted in the death of one State Police trooper and the wounding of another. Frein may be armed with a .308 rifle and is considered extremely dangerous. Described as a marksman and “survivalist,” Frein was recently added to the FBI’s top 10 most wanted fugitives list.
“The suspect has demonstrated a disregard for human life,” Game Commissioner James Delaney said, “The safety of the law-enforcement officers who are part of the search, as well as that of the sporting public, must take precedence here.”
Officers say that the explosives were found near an old camp that was likely set up by Frein. Although the pipe bombs were not deployed, investigators said that the explosives were fully functional and could be very dangerous if activated. Law enforcement officials speculated that Frein discarded the bombs as officers neared his location, and once again called for his surrender.
You can see part of a press conference with law enforcement officials, as well as ongoing efforts to find Frein, below: