(Pennsylvania State Police Photo)
HARRISBURGH, PA. – The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) continue to investigate the shooting incident at the Blooming Grove station where two Pennsylvania State Police troopers were ambushed by Eric Matthew Frein.
“Over the past 18 days, we’ve had upwards of 1000 law enforcement personnel from around the commonwealth working this operation,” said Lt. Col. George Bivens, deputy commissioner of operations. “Our troopers and law enforcement personnel have worked tirelessly, putting in many long hours, to bring Eric Matthew Frein to justice.”
“As I’ve indicated in the past, our search area is determined by the information available to us at any given point in time,” said Bivens. “Currently, our search area has moved slightly to the south but remains focused within several square miles near the Pike/Monroe border.” State police are attempting to minimize the use of road closures and vehicle check points – in an effort to lessen direct impact on those who live in the community.
“While state police remain confident Frein has spent a significant amount of time in the woods near his home, we need to follow-up on all information available to us – these may include areas where investigators have been told Frein has frequented in the past,” said Bivens. “Some of these locations are outside the immediate perimeter,” added Bivens.
“As I have mentioned before, there are numerous places Frein may be using for shelter – hundreds of vacant cabins and homes in these areas are potential hiding places and need to be cleared,” said Bivens. Pennsylvania’s fall archery deer season is set to open throughout the commonwealth beginning this Saturday, Oct. 4th. State police are working with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to appropriately prepare for the upcoming season. “We want to remind hunters to be alert when accessing cabins in the search areas,” said Bivens. “If you find items disturbed or missing, please leave the cabin immediately, as to not disturb the evidence, and contact 911 or the tip line at 866-326-7256.”
Over the last few days state police have found several items that undoubtedly confirm Eric Frein is hiding in our search area. “We have found a number of items belonging to Frein – some of which were clearly hastily discarded,” said Bivens. “Of significance, we located two pipe bombs which were fully functional and capable of being deployed — the pipe bombs had the ability to be detonated by either the use of trip wires or a lighted fuse. These devices are consistent with Frein’s non-confrontational and gutless efforts to injure or kill law enforcement from a distance,” added Bivens.
“All of the available evidence indicates our efforts are putting significant pressure on Frein,” added Bivens. “I am again calling on you, Eric, to surrender,” said Bivens. “You are clearly
stressed and are making significant mistakes. We continue to take your supplies and your weapon stockpiles –while you are no-doubt weakening, the resolve of our troopers is strong. We are not going anywhere.”
“We are asking the public to remain vigilant when accessing the Pike/Monroe search area – as the possibility exists he may have placed similar devices within that area,” continued Bivens.
Frein is considered armed and dangerous and state police are asking people to stay out of the search areas for their own safety. The state police continue to ask the public for any photos/videos previously taken from trail cameras in those areas and which may contain images of Frein or other suspicious activity.