Suspected cop killer Christopher Dorner has become one of the first Americans in the U.S. to be targeted by surveillance drones, according to a report by the Express.
But other sources have thrown cold water on the story.
An unnamed “senior police source” told the Express, “the thermal imaging cameras the drones use may be our only hope of finding him. On the ground, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”
When asked if drones had been deployed to search for Dorner, Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz told the Express, “we are using all the tools at our disposal.”
The Express reports that Customs and Border Patrol spokesman Ralph DeSio confirmed the use of drones in the manhunt, but he later told Salon the opposite.
“Reports that U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s unmanned aircraft systems are being used are incorrect,” DeSio told Salon. “CBP UAS are not flying in support of the search.”
Mashable spoke to LAPD spokesperson Alex Martinez who would not confirm or deny whether his department was using drones to look for Dorner.
“That would tip off any suspect watching media, right?” Martinez said. “So, to answer your question, we’re not gonna answer that. Obviously because he has access to media and we’re not going to let him know how we’re approaching him.”
Salon also notes that Dorner would not be the first American hunted by domestic drones. There have been “a handful of instances,” including an incident in which police used an unarmed Predator drone to help arrest members of an anti-government North Dakota family.