Search for Murder Suspect “Closes” Trails – Updated

11:45am UPDATE: Just spoke to LASD again.  They stated that the suspect is still at large at this time.  She again stated that there is a press release on the way, however, this time she stated that they are currently editing the release.  That’s a step closer than it was at 9:55, when they were waiting to receive the information, so hopefully we will have more information very soon.

9:55am UPDATE: LASD Press officer tells me that she is expecting a press release with a photo of the subject any time now. She said she expects the actual release to be the same release we’ve already received, with a description of the suspect.  I will forward it when I receive it.

9:30am UPDATE: This just posted at Sierra Madre Patch “The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office has identified Dean Albert, 55 of Arcadia, as the victim of Thursday night’s fatal shooting at Chantry Flats campground in Angeles National Forest. City News Service reports that Sheriff’s detectives are seeking a known suspect in Albert’s death. The 53-year-old suspect, described as about 6 feet and 175 pounds, with thinning gray hair and blue eyes, was last seen on a trail from Chantry Flats to Mount Wilson, authorities said. Sheriff’s detectives are not releasing the suspect’s name at this time.” 

I have been contacted by a friend who tells me that she attended Arcadia High School with Albert in the mid-70s.
No further word on the suspect at this time (9:45am).
9am UPDATE:  Just spoke to LASD press officer who told me that she thinks that Homicide is preparing a press update.  I will post it when I receive it.  When I asked her if the release was being issued because the suspect was in custody, she said that she had NOT received word that that is the case.  
8:36am UPDATE:  Just got off the phone with Sgt. Boyett of San Dimas PD.  He told me that at about 8am this morning, he was told that the suspect was heading east toward Azusa Canyon and that the purpose of the call was to notify him that they were sending search teams into his area.  According to Sgt. Boyett, he doesn’t think anybody knows for sure where the suspect is.  He told me that the suspect is considered armed and dangerous
2nd UPDATE: At 8:27am, I spoke with Capt. Larry Giannone of SMPD who told me that SMPD had abandoned its search operation at 2:30am when the Sheriff’s Dept. told them that their information led them to believe the suspect is in the hills behind San Dimas.  Capt. Giannone was unaware that SMSR and the Sheriff’s were still turning people back at the foot of the Mt. Wilson Trail, and told me he would look into it.  I called Capt. Giannone on  his cell, got the impression he’s not on duty.

Members of the world famous Sierra Madre Search and Rescue team assist Sheriffs at the foot of the Mt. Wilson Trail

ORIGINAL POST – As of 7:55am this morning, hikers at the foot of the Mt. Wilson Trail were being “strongly encouraged” to turn around and go back while law enforcement officials searched for a murder suspect in the hills north of Sierra Madre.  According to a Sheriff at the foot of the trail, search dogs and the SWAT team were being utilized in the search for a suspect in a murder at Chantry Flats on April 28th.

According to an LASD press release, a passerby discovered the victim lying on the side of the road. Deputies from Temple Sheriff’s Station were notified and responded to the location.  The victim, who was suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper body, was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

As I approached the Trail this morning, I was informed that the search for the suspect had now encompassed Chantry Flats, Mt. Wilson Trail and Bailey Canyon, with all sites turning back hikers.  The report was that a suspect, apparently an experienced hiker, had contacted SMPD and informed them that he would be coming down the trail to surrender.  Cell signals indicated that he was on the hill somewhere.

FIRST UPDATEI’ll be contacting SMPD directly and updating the story as I learn more.    I contacted SMPD and was told that this was a Sheriff’s Dept. operation.  Called the LASD Press information number, and they were not aware of the information that was provided to me at the foot of the trail.  They did say they would send a release out as soon as they had more information.  I will monitor my e-mail on my phone, but I intend to go camp out at the foot of the trail for a while.  Please check back for updates.