11:05 AM EST, February 8, 2013
In an INSIDE EDITION exclusive, we're hearing from the first time from an intimate of the man police say has murdered three people, including the beautiful daughter of a Los Angeles police captain.
"He was sweet. He was like a teddy bear. Easy to talk to," said Melinda Yates.
She's talking about the most wanted man in America—Christopher Dorner, who is waging a one man war against police.
"Something snapped. It seems like he's dedicated his life to serving our country the last 10 years. So I guess it just backfired on him," said Yates.
Melinda Yates says she would trust Dorner with her life.
Yates said, "He's somebody I would trust with my life, and here he is running around taking lives out."
But ex-girlfriend, Ariana Williams told Good Morning America she's living in fear today.
"I don't see a peaceful resolve or a peaceful ending in the situation just because he's committed so many heinous acts at this point," said Williams.
One worried homeowner is searching his property in the mountain ski-resort where Dorner may be holing up.
"Yes, that would be a very good hiding place. Anywhere there right now. It's very dark," said resident Scott Stepkovic.
As Stepkovic checked his doors and windows, he saw something suspicious—cigarette butts. Somebody had been lurking in the dark .
"I don't smoke. No one in my house smokes cigarettes. That's a bit strange," said Stepkovic.
Residents are on edge in this ski resort of Big Bear, 100 miles east of Los Angeles, after the discovery of Dorner's burned out pick-up truck on the fringe of town.
SWAT teams are searching house to house for the 33-year-old former Los Angeles cop and U.S. Navy reservist who could be hiding in one of the hundreds of vacant homes.
INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret asked a police official, "With the man power that you have sir, are you confident that you're going to find this man?"
"We're confident that we're going to find him if he's still up on this mountain," said the officer.
"Do you have any indication that he's still up in this area?" asked Moret.
"I have no information to suggest that he's here or that he left," replied the officer.
Police know this could all be a clever diversion and Dorner could be hundreds of miles away. Tracks found at the truck end suddenly, suggesting he may have had another vehicle stashed nearby.
It's a remote area where chains are needed on tires to climb the mountain in bad weather.
The conditions couldn't be worse for investigators searching for Dorner. It's extremely cold and windy. Visibility is terrible and it's snowing so hard it would cover anyone's tracks.
And we're learning more about this dangerous suspect. In an 11,000 word manifesto he posted online where he warns:
"I will utilize every bit of small arms training, demolition, ordinance and survival training I've been given. You have misjudged a sleeping giant."
James Usera, a former teammate on the Southern Utah University football team says everything he has read about his friend's alleged killing spree seems out of character.
"Shocked doesn't even begin to describe it. I never saw any behavior or conduct from him that suggested violent tendencies or that he was aggressive," said Usera.
Usera appealed for his old college buddy to stop the killing and give himself up, pleading, "Please get in touch with me. Let's see if we can work this out and get this situation unfouled as soon as possible and bring it to a resolution."