CRIME

Chris Dorner Reward Loophole Could Keep Anyone From Collecting Million Dollar Bounty

02/14/2013 04:05 pm ET | Updated Feb 16, 2013

Authorities may be hesitant to put their money where their mouths are after offering a huge reward for Christopher Dorner, the man held responsible for four murders in a spree across Southern California.

The Associated Press previously reported that Los Angeles officials were offering a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Dorner. But the most wanted man in America was likely killed in a cabin fire on Tuesday after engaging in a firefight with San Bernadino County Sheriff's deputeis in the Big Bear resort area, east of L.A.

Authorities pulled a charred body from the cabin that they believe is Dorner. DNA tests are expected to confirm their suspicions, according to police.

There's no shortage of people who might try to claim the reward. Police said that more than 1,000 tips came in during the manhunt for the ex-cop who declared war on members of law enforcement, according to the Guardian.

Richard Heltebrake, one of two people taken hostage by Dorner, told CBS Los Angeles he would "absolutely" try to collect his share of the bounty. Heltebrake called police after he freed himself.

TMZ reports that, because Dorner wasn't arrested or convicted, there may not be any payout.

"Dorner was cornered but not captured," an unidentified source at the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors told TMZ.

The International Business Times has the full statement made by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa when he announced the bounty:

"Yesterday leaders from throughout the region, including leaders from businesses, came together to pool resources and protect our core value of public safety," Villaraigosa said. "Collectively this group, led by my office, is posting a reward of $1 million for information that will lead to Mr. Dorner's capture."

Los Angeles Councilman Dennis Zine told CBS Los Angeles that "legal experts" will decide whether the loophole means tipsters will be left uncompensated.

"Is it the arrest and conviction? Is it the ability to locate the individual who is wanted?" Zine told CBS Los Angeles. "There’s a lot of factors. It’s going to be up to the legal experts to make that determination.”

Related on HuffPost:

Christopher Dorner Manhunt
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