By Joe McDonald
MOUNTAINHOME Pa. (Reuters) - Pocono Mountain residents are upset now that a six-week-old manhunt for an accused cop killer has forced the cancellation of school, hunting season and even Halloween parades, but few have suffered as much disruption to their lives as James Tully.
Police seem to think the local factory worker bears an uncanny resemblance to the fugitive Eric Frein, who is suspected of fatally shooting a state trooper and wounding another on Sept. 12. Troopers have stopped Tully repeatedly on his daily four-hour walks through thick woods to and from his job.
"I lost count after 20," Tully said, standing outside the thermal products factory where he works.
Although he is at least 4 inches shorter than Frein, Tully has been told he looks like the 31-year-old suspect, at least from a distance.
A state police spokesman said troopers were aware of Tully and that he had been stopped walking through the search area, but had no further comment.
Many other residents who look nothing like Frein, who is on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's list of 10 most-wanted fugitives, also say the situation is becoming tiresome, from the racket of helicopters overhead to schools unpredictably shutting and reopening.
"It's a little irritable," said Loree Guthrie, the vice chairman of Barrett Township's board of supervisors.
Tourists who typically flock to see the area's fall foliage are staying away, apparently unnerved by the thought of an armed survivalist and expert marksman roaming the woods, she said.
Parents have had to tell children that Barrett Township's annual Halloween parade is canceled and the clattering helicopters over Guthrie's ranch have made it impossible for children to ride horses.
Recreational hunting has been banned in at least three townships. Some parents have arrived at schools with their children only to find them closed after reports of a nearby Frein sighting.
Elizabeth Robison, the superintendent of the local school district, said police and security officers are patrolling school campuses 24 hours a day.
"They should just let him go and see where he surfaces," John Boyle, a former taxicab driver, said as he ate a sandwich at a convenience store in the town of Swiftwater, about a mile from where Frein was believed to have been spotted twice since Friday.
"It's ridiculous at this point," he said, adding that he thought closing schools was a waste of time and dismissing the state police warning that they believe Frein is a dangerous threat. "I think he did what he wanted to do. He hasn't shot anyone else."
Tully, Frein's supposed doppelganger, said he is sick of the hassle.
"I just want it to end peacefully," he said. "I just want to get my life back."
(Writing by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Eric Walsh)