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Search for Pennsylvania trooper killer leaves some locals sleeping in cars

Displayed at a grocery store is a wanted advertisement for Eric Frein on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, in Philadelphia.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

CANADENSIS, Pa. - Pennsylvania state police are defending themselves against complaints that they have unfairly denied residents access to their homes during the manhunt for a suspected killer.

The massive search for 31-year-old Eric Frein, who is charged with killing one trooper and wounding another, has resulted in frequent unannounced and indefinite roadblocks in the village of Canadensis. Some people have ended up sleeping in their cars because their neighborhoods were cordoned off. Tensions have mounted as the search drags on.

In a statement Tuesday night, police said they have been "diligent in respecting the rights of the public while working hard to keep both residents and law enforcement personnel safe."

Authorities say Frein ambushed the state police barracks in Blooming Grove on Sept 12, fatally shooting Cpl. Bryon Dickson and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass.

Police believe Frein, a Canadensis resident and self-taught survivalist, has been hiding in the dense woods surrounding his neighborhood.

Last week, troopers issued a "shelter-in-place" order that kept some residents from leaving their houses for more than a day; those who weren't already at home could not go back. Residents contend the directive left elderly relatives unattended and pets unfed, and resulted in lost wages for workers who couldn't leave their houses.

Adam Christmann said he has been kept away from his home at least twice since the search started. As he waited at a roadblock near his house on Monday afternoon, he said that while he understood the importance of the search, he couldn't help but be frustrated.

"We don't know when we can go home, or you don't know if you can get out," Christmann said. "Families are getting separated."

The American Red Cross opened a shelter for displaced residents from two townships late Monday.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said Monday he is "confident" Frein will be caught soon.

The search for Frein is in some of the most dense, rugged terrain in all of Pennsylvania, with thick underbrush and hills, CBS News correspondent Don Dahler reported.

The intense search has drawn in help from law enforcement across the state, reports CBS Pittsburgh.

They will be relieving law enforcement officials there who have been working round the clock.

"Each station is trying to send a handful of people to head up to Pike County and relieve the people that are there," said Trooper Steve Limani, of the Greensburg State Police Barracks.

For law enforcement, it's mentally and physically taxing work looking for a person who is looking to kill them.

"We're doing our best to try and keep our men and women fresh," said Trooper Limani.

As tough and as dangerous as it is, it's more than an assignment.

"There's not a shortage of people who want to go out there from our end of the state, from all over the state to go out and help find this person that shot and killed one of our brothers and injured another one," added Trooper Limani.