Sgt. Joe Harris of the Sandoval County Sheriff's Department was…
Updated: Wednesday, 29 Jul 2009, 12:20 PM MDT
Published : Tuesday, 28 Jul 2009, 5:56 PM MDT
LA CUEVA, N.M. (KRQE) - As New Mexico State Police continue to search for more information about cop killer Joseph Burgess they're about to take that search deep into the Jemez Mountains.
Burgess, who was wanted for two murders in Canada in 1972, apparently spent the last eight to 10 years hiding in the mountains northwest of Albuquerque. His time there included breaking into cabins and stealing food, liquor and clothing earning him the nickname Cookie Bandit.
Then on July 16 he killed Sandoval County sheriff's Sgt. Joe Harris in a gun battle in which he also died. Harris and a deputy had staked out a cabin near La Cueva in hopes of catching the Cookie Bandit in the act.
Burgess's identity as a fugitive murder suspect only became known from fingerprints taken after his death.
State Police are now hoping to find Burgess's camp or camps to learn more about him and what he'd been up to. That includes any evidence linking him to a series of unsolved murders in California and Arizona and the presumed death of a camper in the Jemez Mountains.
On Wednesday police with search dogs will head out trying to pick up Burgess's scent using the clothes he wore the night of the shootout
"Right now we have about half a dozen personnel set aside prepared to go up there," State Police Lt. Eric Garcia told KRQE News 13. "They're ready for the three days and are ready to stay up there longer if they need to.
"They're all member of the Investigations Bureau and search teams out of that area."
Police said learning where Burgess spent his time can tell them a lot including whether he played a role in the disappearance of David Eley who vanished in 2006 while camping in the same area Burgess was known to frequent. The link between the two is the pistol Burgess used to shoot Harris which was later traced to Eley.
An FBI team spent Monday looking for Eley's body in the Jemez. However they didn't find anything but will continue searching, a spokesman said.
The State Police search initially will focus on the trails that lead to the cabin where the gun battle occurred.