Homeless man identified as target of 2-week Calif. manhunt – NY Daily News

California authorities have identified a homeless man with a long criminal history as the target of a massive two-week-old manhunt for an unhinged gunman believed to be behind the shooting of two deputies, the killing of another man and a kidnapping.

Police are scouring the wilderness near Bakersfield, Calif., for Benjamin Peter Ashley, 34, who had been arrested several times in Central and Southern California, Sheriff Donny Youngblood said at a news conference Tuesday.

“We believe he’s homeless,” Youngblood said. “We believe he’s traveled throughout Southern California and Merced and Yosemite. … We’re confident this guy is very mobile, and he’s a survivor.”

The dangerous derelict is believed to be hiding in the 5-square-mile rugged, mountainous area, which has unoccupied homes and trailers, outbuildings, abandoned mines and caves.

He’s been at large since late last month when he allegedly held three young men hostage at gunpoint inside a remote rural cabin he was squatting in before they managed to escape.

Benjamin Peter Ashley, 34, has been identified as the target of a two-week-old manhunt in California.
KERN SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Benjamin Peter Ashley, 34, has been identified as the target of a two-week-old manhunt in California.

Benjamin Peter Ashley, 34, has been identified as the target of a two-week-old manhunt in California.
KERN SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Benjamin Peter Ashley, 34, has been identified as the target of a two-week-old manhunt in California.

The “armed and dangerous” suspect may also be tied to the death of 64-year-old David Markiewitz who was found fatally shot in a nearby cabin, as well as the wounding of two Kern County Sherriff’s deputies, authorities said.

One deputy was shot in both arms, and the other was grazed.

“We’re having to move very slowly and meticulously,” Kern County sheriff’s spokesman Ray Pruitt said last week. “He has shown he is not hesitant to engage law enforcement officers in a shootout.”

Investigators have found fingerprints and DNA evidence that may link Ashley to the crimes, Youngblood said.

Authorities are still scouring a rugged area near Bakersfield, California, where they say an "armed and dangerous" suspect is at large.
TURNTO23.COM

Authorities are still scouring a rugged area near Bakersfield, California, where they say an “armed and dangerous” suspect is at large.

Authorities are still scouring a rugged area near Bakersfield, California, where they say an "armed and dangerous" suspect is at large.
TURNTO23.COM

Authorities are still scouring a rugged area near Bakersfield, California, where they say an “armed and dangerous” suspect is at large.

Authorities are still scouring a rugged area near Bakersfield, California, where they say an "armed and dangerous" suspect is at large.
TURNTO23.COM

Authorities are still scouring a rugged area near Bakersfield, California, where they say an “armed and dangerous” suspect is at large.

The fugitive appears to be breaking into unoccupied homes near the area and stealing firearms, authorities said. Residents were warned to keep their properties locked.

“We have to prevent him from doing any other harm to anyone else,” Youngblood said.

http://m.nydailynews.com/news/national/homeless-man-identified-target-2-week-calif-manhunt-article-1.2323144

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