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Police nix surveillance balloon in fugitive manhunt

On Monday, Pennsylvania State Police announced they were using a device similar to a weather balloon in their search for the suspect in the deadly ambush of a state trooper.

Two days later, police have decided to deflate the surveillance balloon, citing ineffectiveness.

Trooper Tom Kelly, a state police spokesman, said the device has been returned to the Ohio Department of Transportation, which had donated the use of the large, unmanned Mylar device.

"Due to the tree canopy and rugged terrain of our search area, the balloon was not as helpful as everyone hoped it would be," Kelly said.

Eric Frein manhunt: Suspect may have left letter

Earlier, Kelly said the balloon was among several technologies they're using in the search for 31-year-old Eric Frein.

Frein is charged with opening fire outside the Blooming Grove state police barracks on Sept. 12, killing Trooper Bryon Dickson and seriously wounding Trooper Alex Douglass.

Police reported another possible sighting of Frein but said Wednesday that a "reaction team along with canines searched the area with negative results."

Police also said that recent blood samples collected near a chicken coop in the search area are still at the DNA lab, and results are pending.

The search is now in its 47th day.

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