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2014-10-23 / News

Stolen Car Triggers Bovina Manhunt

Robert A. Cairns
Editor-in-Chief

A Porsche Cayman, like the one in this stock photo from the Delaware County Sheriff's Department, sparked a manhunt after it was discovered that it was stolen in the area where Pennsylvania police are searching for accused cop-killer Matthew Eric Frein.A Porsche Cayman, like the one in this stock photo from the Delaware County Sheriff's Department, sparked a manhunt after it was discovered that it was stolen in the area where Pennsylvania police are searching for accused cop-killer Matthew Eric Frein.DELHI — A car abandoned in a Bovina driveway sparked an overnight manhunt when it was discovered that it was stolen in Pennsylvania, near the area where suspected cop-killer Matthew Eric Frein is thought to be hiding. Frein has been on the run since allegedly murdering a Pennsylvania state trooper during a Sept. 12 ambush at a state police station in Blooming Grove, Pa.

Delaware County Sheriff Tom Mills said on Thursday that his office got a call around 5 p.m. on Wednesday about the car, which had been parked just off Lee Hollow Road “for a couple days.” When it was found that the black Porsche Cayman had been reported as stolen by the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department in Pennsylvania on Oct. 18, “It was a major concern, of course,” Mills said. “We had to err on the side of caution.”

Mills said that his department began an investigation, joined by state police and officers and forest rangers from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. He estimated that 50 officers were on the site at the height of the search, headquartered in a barn at the nearby Black Willow Morgan horse farm. Members of a state police rapid response team were deployed in the surrounding area overnight.. Mills said the search was targeted in a small area around where the vehicle was found.

Shortly after 3 a.m. on Thursday, the sheriff’s department issued a news release by email, acknowledging that they were investigating “an incident” in the Bovina area. The news release said there was no reason to believe that any resident was “in imminent danger” at that time.

A later news release said that police were investigating the discovery of the car stolen in Pennsylvania.

Mills said on Thursday that the command post had been closed and that the only remaining force was a few troopers, doing interviews to determine if anyone saw a person that might have been connected to the stolen car. He said the car was removed from the scene and sent to a state police laboratory in Albany for forensic investigation, and that it will be at least “several days” before that investigation is completed.

Mills stressed that there was never any evidence that Frein was in Delaware County, but that police had to be sure. “When you get a car that was that close, I think it was 10 or 15 miles away (from the search area in Pennsylvania), you have to check it out,” he said.

Mills said that residents were not ordered to stay in their homes and that he spoke to officials at Delaware Academy about the situation, but told them, “We don’t think the threat is there.” Classes were not cancelled on Thursday.

The sheriff’s office is asking anyone who may have information regarding the investigation to immediately contact Undersheriff Craig DuMond at 607-746-2336.

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