Escape and Evasion: How Has Eric Frein Evaded Police for Five Weeks

Escape and Evasion

Moreover, What Does This Have To Do With You, a Prepper?

Frein, 31, is suspected in the September 12 ambush shooting that left one Pennsylvania State Trooped dead and another wounded outside the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in Blooming Grove, about 25 miles Northeast of Sweetwater. Since the September 12, shooting Frein has managed to evade capture even though a massive search for Frein has been carried out, and the search for the suspect has involved as many as 1,000 officers (Jason Hanna and Shimon Prokupecz, 2014).

Eric Frein is not a folk hero. He is a suspected “cop” killer and a menace to society.

The only reason he is being discussed in this article is that he somehow has managed to elude highly trained police officers for five weeks, eluded them in a wilderness environment no less. This fact alone should be of interest because if the SHTF some, if not many of us may be forced to use escape and evasion tactics to survive, so how has he managed to elude so many trained searchers for so long.

Roving gangs of so-called militia, marauders, and criminals in general may be roaming the streets shortly after a crisis. You may be forced to take to the wilds for survival. The question is of course, can you escape, evade and survive while others are searching for you.

It is quite evident that Frein had planned this for years, because to elude capture for five weeks while trained people are searching takes extensive planning, along with certain skill sets and considerable knowledge of the area. What exactly does it take to survive for five weeks in the wilderness while constantly on the move? Keep in mind Frein has no formal military or law enforcement training. He considers himself a self-taught survivalist.

Assumptions Have To Be Made

1.) He is likely not fishing, trapping or hunting game for food. However, fishing is a possibility, but a remote one. To snare, or trap game he would have to be stationary for long periods and this is not logical. Shooting game would reveal his location because of gunshots and there would be evidence if he brought down any big game as well. Does he have a crossbow or longbow for silent hunting?

It would take a considerable effort to hide the carcass of any big game animal. Vultures would soon be circling overhead, which would reveal the discarded carcasses of any game he killed thus giving searchers more information in which to track him with.

Chime in if you have any ideas on any of this.

2.) You have to assume he has numerous caches buried because he cannot carry enough food and other supplies on his back to sustain him for five weeks. There have been no reports of burglaries in the area so Frein is not likely breaking in to homes to steal food, water and other supplies. Besides having food and medical supply caches, he likely has weapon and ammunition caches located all about the area as well.

It is not logical to assume he is getting help from family and friends even though some reports indicate he has been in contact via cell phone with family members and possibly even has sent texts to friends. A cell phone can be tracked so he is turning it off or has discarded it or is using so-called burn phones. In any event, he has the means to communicate and how many means, remains to be seen.

3.) He must have some way of locating his caches, so this means he has extensive knowledge on land navigation, or is using a GPS system, but this would require a power source, so is it batteries or does he have a solar charging device.

To locate caches using grid coordinates obtained from a topographical map means he must be able to plot courses with a map and compass. To determine eight digit grid coordinates and then find the location corresponding to the coordinates requires skill and practice.

4.) Water is obviously obtained from his environment, and he probably knows where many of the sources are. Does he have a method of purification, possibly high-grade water filtration straws, iodine tablets, or he is boiling it or is he simply drinking from streams without purification, which seems unlikely.

5.) He needs shelter because this time of year in that area of the country, it gets cold at night and it rains often. Fire is likely used under very controlled conditions, but it is not likely he is cooking food, so this tells us something about his food supply. Cooking food would give off odors and it takes time to stop throughout the day to cook, so he is eating on the run and probably eating often to maintain energy levels. The foods must be ready to eat is the assumption. Fire use is limited and only under certain conditions at night is the likely conclusion.

Smoke can be dispersed through heavy vegetation so again a controlled fire is possible. Smoke can be smelled but it is likely that homes and cabins in the area would be burning wood as a heat source at night. Smelling smoke would be considered common in that area at probably anytime. Dakota Fire Holes would be laborious to construct so he is not likely using one.

The latest information is that Frein has been possibly spotted with a mud-caked face and carrying a weapon, a long gun it is assumed and wearing all black. Obviously, Frein knows how to use camouflage, how effectively remains to be seen though.

There is one thing that needs to be pointed out. The police cannot simply shoot on sight unless they get into a firefight with him, so when they do spot Frein and it has been reported that police have seen him, they cannot just bring him down. Police will attempt to bring the fugitive in alive, so this does hamper efforts to eliminate Mr. Frein as a threat. You in a survival situation would not likely have this advantage.

If you where in a SHTF scenario you could expect snipers would shoot to kill, so Frein does have the advantage of a civilized police force on his side, a force that is not out there defoliating the forest with automatic weapons fire to bring Frein to ground.

The lessons in all this are planning, skills, and knowledge needed to survive while evading forces out searching for you. Even though Frein is a suspected killer and if not apprehended will likely kill again, he does have certain skills that are required to stay alive in the wilderness for weeks, while on the run.

This means he has to be in relatively good physical shape, and he must be getting enough calories and water every day to sustain his high level of activity. It is assumed he is moving during most of the daylight hours, and would be burning virtually all of the calories he is consuming and he would require considerable water to maintain hydration levels.

He is likely consuming close to a gallon of water or more daily. Is he bathing and performing oral hygiene, is he tending to cuts, and abrasion as anyone would to prevent serious infections that would hamper a person on the move.

You would have to do certain things even if you where on the run because failure to do so would lead to problems that would slow you down and cause your capture. However, it is not likely Frein is bathing and he may very well not care about his teeth or medical condition to some extent because he has to know he is not going to survive this ordeal, but you have to go into any situation with the intentions of surviving. This will make survival on the run more difficult.

Jason Hanna and Shimon Prokupecz. (2014, October 18). Retrieved 2014, from