Police Deliver Third Message to Sniper, Give No Details

July 7, 2008 - 8:20 PM

Capitol Hill (CNSNews.com) - For the third time, police have delivered a message to the "Beltway Sniper" through the media.

"The person you called could not hear everything that you said. The audio was unclear and we want to get it right," said Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose. "Call us back so that we can clearly understand. Thank you very much."

Moose would not answer any questions about the messages.

"Unfortunately, I will not be able to discuss the issue or answer any questions regarding attempts to communicate," he continued. "It just would be inappropriate and detrimental to our investigation."

Even when asked to acknowledge that the messages were directed to the shooter, who has now taken the lives of nine victims and wounded three others, Moose refused.

Law enforcement first took to the airwaves Sunday night in what is believed to be a response to a note reportedly left by the shooter at the Ponderosa Steak House in Ashland, Va., where the sniper's 12th victim was shot.

"To the person who left us a message at the Ponderosa last night, you gave us a telephone number," Moose said. "We do want to talk to you. Call us at the number you provided."

Monday morning, Moose again delivered a message apparently meant for the shooter.

"We are going to respond to a message that we have received," he said. "We will respond later. We are preparing our response at this time."

The second message came after 10 a.m. (ET) more than an hour and a half after police in Henrico County, Va., took two people into custody and impounded a white Plymouth Voyager minivan with a roof rack.

Chief Moose would not discuss those arrests.

"The work done by the Division of Police in Henrico County, [Virginia], is work done by that agency and you need to contact them," he explained. "They will answer any questions about that work."

The two men who were detained were later revealed to be illegal immigrants - one a Mexican national, the other a Guatemalan national. Both of them were turned over to the INS for deportation on immigration charges.

In the first new piece of information released by authorities in days, other than Moose's messages, Hanover County Sheriff Stuart Cook disclosed that "the ballistics evidence recovered during our investigation has been matched with the other shooting cases."

During the Monday afternoon press briefing, FBI Special Agent Mike Bouchard revealed that an examination by firearms experts had determined that the shell casing found in a rental truck in Fairfax County, Va., was a .223 caliber round - the same as that used by the sniper.

"The shell casing from that truck that was taken in Fairfax, there is no evidence to say that that was linked to any of these cases," he explained.

The .223 round was found Friday night by employees of a rental company after a customer returned a white box truck.

The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people involved in the murder spree in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia stands at $500,000.

E-mail a news tip to Jeff Johnson.

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