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Unmanned balloon launched in manhunt for accused cop killer

CANADENSIS, Pa. -- Pennsylvania State Police say they're using a device similar to a weather balloon in their search for a suspect in the killing of a state trooper last month.

Trooper Tom Kelly, a state police spokesman, said Monday the Ohio Department of Transportation donated the use of the large, unmanned Mylar balloon.

In this handout provided by the Pennsylvania State Police, a large Mylar surveillance balloon that is being used in the search for suspected killer Eric Frein is seen deployed from its base station in Pennsylvania. Handout, Getty Images

He says the device provides troopers with a similar level of technology and coverage at a fraction of the cost of traditional aircraft. It's also silent.

Kelly says the balloon is experimental and 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.

Monday is day 45 of the search.

The manhunt is affecting Halloween in the area. CBS affiliate WYOU-TV reports that trick-or-treat night in Barrett Township was canceled. Instead, a "trunk-or-treat" event was held Sunday at a local school's parking lot, where costumed children went from car to car looking for candy.

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