GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. -- FBI officials said Thursday they would consider some negotiations but have no intention of freeing a convicted child molester even if his brother, an escaped convict, fulfills his vow to kidnap a family to win freedom for both.
Danny Ray Horning, 33, has been the subject of a massive manhunt since he escaped May 12 from the maximum security prison in Florence, Ariz.
Hundreds of FBI agents and local police have stepped up their pursuit since Horning entered the landmark Grand Canyon National Park last week. He has taken hostages, broken into homes for food, camping gear, guns and ammunition, has stolen vehicles, and has led police on high-speed chases punctuated by gunfire while avoiding capture.
Authorities have been warning park visitors to leave details of their travel plans with friends or family in the event the convict succeeds with his plan to kidnap a family and swap them for $1 million and freedom for himself and his brother.
Jerry Horning, 40, is serving a 20-year sentence for child molestation.
'His brother is not going to be released from prison as one of his demands,' said FBI agent Al Davison in the bureau's Phoenix office. 'That's not even a subject of negotiation.'
But if Horning makes good on his threat to take a family hostage, the other demands would be subject to discussion, he said. Officials set up a toll-free telephone number to the Coconino County Sheriff's Department to enable the convict to reach them.
'The only thing we have said absolutely is that the freedom of his brother is a non-negotiable item,' Davison said.
'We'll certainly talk to him about his other demands,' he said. 'The objective is to get him back into custody and certainly to get the life of the Grand Canyon back to normal.'
The massive manhunt in the Arizona desert have included tracking dogs, trackers, hundreds of law enforcement officers, helicopters and roadblocks causing delays of up to four hours for park visitors.
A section of the canyon's East Rim was closed earlier in week for the hunt.Authorities also were checking the excursion train between the Grand Canyon and Williams, 'to make sure Horning isn't on it attempting to ride out of the park in that manner,' Davison said.
'The other thing we are doing is advising anyone who travels to the Grand Canyon to leave an exact itinerary with friends or relatives, so if someone gets abducted by Horning, someone would know it,' he said.
Park visitors were being stopped at roadblocks and the drivers given a sheet with Horning's photograph and information about the potential danger.
Fears of encountering Horning or being accidentally harmed by hundreds of armed officers apparently were keeping some park visitors away, despite the upcoming three-day Fourth of July weekend.
National Park Service spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge said park attendance, which averages 20,000 people a day during the summer, is off about 10 percent since word of Horning's threat reached the public.
Horning has been described as a survivalist familiar with the rugged high country of the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests in northern Arizona.
He was serving three life terms for child molestation, armed robbery, aggravated assault and kidnapping for a 1991 bank robbery when he disguised himself in a lab coat and escaped from the state prison outside of Phoenix.
Horning also is wanted in California for the murder and dismemberment of a Stockton fish farmer in 1990 and for bank robberies in Idaho, Washington and Oregon, Davison said.
On Wednesday night, tourists reported seeing someone resembling Horning near the Yavapai museum in the Grand Canyon Village area, Coconino County Sheriff Joe Richards said, but search teams were unable to find him.NEWLN: --------
The toll-free number for tips on Horning's whereabouts or for Horning to call authorities is 1-800-338-7888.