Frein used laptop in woods, search warrants say
State police often taunted Eric Frein while he hid in the woods of the Poconos Mountains, telling reporters that he was a “coward” and that police were “not intimidated.”
It turns out the trooper slaying suspect may have read their comments on his laptop.
Frein, on the run and seemingly off the grid for 48 days, told police after his capture Thursday that he often used his Lenovo ThinkPad to access wireless networks, according to search warrants.
Police searched the abandoned airplane hangar where Frein was captured because he told his captors that his handgun and rifle were inside.
Also inside the hangar, police found the laptop and two USB thumb drives, according to a search warrant. The 31-year-old told police that the ThinkPad laptop belongs to him.
That information, released Tuesday, offers insight into how Frein lived and may have evaded capture during a seven-week manhunt in Northeast Pennsylvania. Frein, who often stayed in unoccupied cabins, told investigators Friday that he accessed wireless networks. However, the search warrant does not reveal what he viewed on the web.
During the manhunt, police never indicated that Frein may have had Internet access beyond noting a phone that he reportedly abandoned during the search.
Frein had used it to call his parents nearly a week after the ambush, allowing investigators to draw closer to him using the ping from a cellphone tower, police said. But that phone was found at one of Frein’s abandoned campsites, according to authorities. Frein may have had a radio, because he included it on a packing list found at his home, although one has not been recovered, according to court documents.
Another recently released search warrant revealed that Frein wore at the time of his capture a Timex wristwatch, a sliver necklace with a pendant and several items of clothing that included green suspenders, an Old Navy thermal shirt and green military pants.
State police spokeswoman Maria Finn said the agency would have no comment Tuesday on information in the warrants.
Frein is being held in jail in the Pike County Correctional Facility without bail. He is charged with killing Cpl. Bryon Dickson and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass outside the state police barracks in Blooming Grove on Sept. 12. After the shootings, the self-described survivalist evaded more than 1,000 law enforcement officers for weeks in the woods of Pike and Monroe counties.