Southeast Bomb Task Force officials announced today that they will scale back their search for fugitive bombing suspect Eric Robert Rudolph, whom they believe is still hiding within the western North Carolina mountains.
The new search plan will use helicopter searches more sparingly and will also reduce the number of officers assigned to the investigation. Officials did not disclose the exact extent of the cutbacks.
The Task Force’s director, Woody Enderson, noted that this decision is by no means an indication that the search is over. “We were brought here by Eric Rudolph and we will leave when we leave here with him. I’m a very patient person,” said Enderson at a news conference.
Rudolph lived in nearby in Murphy, N.C., where he returned last July to gather supplies. Enderson cited several undisclosed break-ins and other evidence indicating that Rudolph is still in the area. He also dismissed speculations that Rudolph may be aided by another party. “His history is one of a loner,” said Enderson. “He has prepared himself for this emotionally for a number of years, that he might find himself in this situation.”