Today, schools in Northeastern Pennsylvania shut down after a reported sighting of fugitive Eric Matthew Frein. According to Pennsylvania State Police, although law enforcement believes he was spotted on Friday and then again yesterday, he remains at large. Because of this, appropriate precautions are being taken.
One woman who was walking her dog last Friday thought she saw Frein in a wooded area near the town of Swiftwater. In a report to police, she explained the man was armed with a rifle, had mud on his face, and after seeing her, showed no reaction. She said the experience was both alarming and creepy.
Frein, 31, is officially charged of ambushing two officers at the Blooming Grove state police barracks on September 12. One trooper was killed and the other seriously wounded.
Since then, authorities have been conducting exhaustive searches, specifically in the wooded area around his parents’ home in Canadensis. However, because of the possible sighting on Friday, the main search area has moved five to six miles to the southwest.
In a statement from Col. George Bivens, law enforcement has put a tremendous amount of pressure on Frein, probably forcing him to move. Because of the most recent reported sighting, schools in the area are closed.
Yesterday’s sighting was reported by a Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department officer who saw a man in the woods dressed in green, in an area relatively close to the high school where Frein attended. Unfortunately, visual contact was lost, preventing a positive identification. In response, the entire area was searched but no one was located.
State police shared that blood droplets were discovered on the steps of a covered porch near Cresco but after DNA testing, it was discounted as being Frein’s. What appeared to be blood also showed up inside a screen door of another home in the vicinity but testing ruled it out as blood. Based on these two incidents, officials do not have any reason to believe that Frein has been injured in any way.
Currently, authorities have no clue why Frein ambushed troopers although he has openly spoken and written about his hate of law enforcement in general. Once identified as the shooter, authorities raided Frein’s home and after conducting a search on the computer’s hard drive, discovered the attack was well-planned.
Despite ongoing attempts in finding Frein, he continues to elude police. While not confirmed, authorities believe he is breaking into vacation homes or empty cabins in an effort to take shelter and find food. Regarding how long schools will stay closed will depend on what, if anything, authorities find.