Sgt. Joe Harris of the Sandoval County Sheriff's Department was…
Updated: Thursday, 30 Jul 2009, 12:08 AM MDT
Published : Thursday, 30 Jul 2009, 12:01 AM MDT
LA CUEVA, N.M. (KRQE) - New Mexico State Police began searching the Jemez Mountains Wednesday finding items and campsites that may or may not be evidence of cop-killer Joseph Burgess.
Investigators believe the man who was known as the Cookie Bandit hid out there for years before his fatal encounter with the law two weeks ago.
Police began their search at the cabin where Burgess and Sandoval County sheriff's Sgt. Joe Harris shot and killed each other when a burglary stakeout turned into a gun battle.
Using maps authorities found at a Burgess campsite last fall they searched around other cabins that Burgess had burglarized over the years. From there they trekked up the mountainsides looking for evidence.
On the ground, the search was by all-terrain vehicles, but in more rugged areas the only option was to search by foot.
"We had the people walking below us," State Police Lt. Ramon Casaus said. "We have cliffs, there's ridges, there's no way its possible on ATV."
By midday the search around a section of Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument yielded a few fresh campsites, a T-shirt and binocular and camera cases possibly belonging to Burgess.
Searchers are hoping to find weapons or other evidence that could link Burgess to the killings of one young couple camping on the California coast and another camping in the mountains north of Phoenix.
"Look at the forest," Casaus said. "When you're walking there it's almost like a needle in a haystack."
Burgess already was wanted for the 1972 murders of a young couple camped on the west coast of Vancouver Island in Canada. However Burgess's identity was not known when Harris and another officer set up their overnight stakeout in a cabin near La Cueva.
Police also want to find out what happened to David Eley who vanished two years ago while camping in the Jemez. The pistol Burgess carried and used to kill Harris was later traced to Eley who told family members he was headed into the Jemez and hasn't been heard from since.
The search was called off early on Wednesday because of bad weather but will continue for at least two more days.
State Police also are asking any residents, campers or hikers
who come across suspicious items in the Jemez to contact them