If it wasn't for Karen and Jim Reynolds, the trail for Christopher Jordan Dorner may have gone cold.
On Sunday, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said it had scaled back the search for the ex-cop now accused of four killings
But on Tuesday, the Reynolds' came upon a man who looked like Dorner in their house across the street from the sheriff's command center in the Big Bear area. He tied them up and took off in their purple Nissan, according to police.
The unit had been unoccupied since January 29 and they had last done some work on it on February 6, Karen Reynolds told reporters.
They returned on Tuesday to continue working on the apartment, she said. "We had come into the living room and he opened the door and came out at us," she said.
"He yelled, 'Stay calm,'" Jim Reynolds said. "When he jumped out and hollered, 'Stay calm!' Karen screamed and turned and started running and he ran after her and he caught her on the staircase and brought her back."
Dorner tried to calm them, the couple said. "He had his gun drawn the whole time," Karen Reynolds said.
He ordered them to lie down and bound their hands behind their backs with plastic ties, telling them he would not kill them, but needed transportation out of Big Bear, they said.
He then gagged them, put pillowcases on their heads and left, they said.
Throughout, he was calm, they said.
"He said I don't have a problem with you, I just want to clear my name," Jim Reynolds said.
The man then took their 2011 Nissan Rogue, they said.
It was not clear how long he had been there, a bag of carrots and milk were in the refrigerator, they said.
At around 12:20 p.m., some 15 minutes after he left, they freed themselves and called 911 to report the incident, they said.
"We're very happy to be alive," Karen Reynolds said. "I didn't wish him dead though ... I prayed for him a lot and I'm praying for his family now."