Authorities were trying to determine if ammunition in a knapsack found by two highway workers near Lake Powell is linked to fugitives wanted in the death of a Cortez policeman.
If there is a connection, the search for the two men could shift to the resort area in Utah. The bullets were corroded and it was hard to tell how old they were, Cortez Police Chief Roy Lane said Wednesday."But the ammo is consistent with the shell casings found at the scene where officer Dale Claxton was killed," Lane said.
Highway workers also found a crossbow near the ammunition bag late Tuesday night.
Suspects Alan "Monte" Pilon, 30, of Dove Creek and Jason Wayne McVean, 26, of Durango have eluded SWAT teams, Navajo trackers and National Guard helicopters since May 29, when Claxton was shot and killed.
A third suspect, Robert Matthew Mason, 26, was found June 4 near Bluff, San Juan County, dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.
About 30 law enforcement officers continued to search Cross Canyon west of Cortez Wednesday.
An FBI SWAT team from California was sent to the San Juan Resource area, a long and deep canyon southwest of Dove Creek. While a Colorado Army National Guard helicopter hovered, the group of about 12 heavily armed agents patrolled the canyon rim.
The suspects' mothers appeared on Colorado and New Mexico television news programs Tuesday and Wednesday to urge their sons to surrender.
Pilon's mother, Beverly Pilon, and McVean's mother, who asked that her name be withheld, said police had assured them their sons would be allowed to surrender and would not be harmed.
Lane said he did not know whether the pair could hear the message. "They may have a radio or they may be getting messages from friends."
The manhunt began May 29 after three men riddled a police car with automatic weapons fire, killing Claxton, who had pulled them over in a stolen truck. The three fired as many as 500 rounds at pursuing officers, wounding two, before fleeing on foot into the desert.
The search converged on Bluff during the weekend after a man was fired at near the San Juan River and a sheriff's deputy was wounded last Thursday. Later that day, Mason's body was found in a makeshift bunker near the river.
Authorities are unsure if Pilon and McVean were ever in Utah. They have been interviewing the men's family, friends, co-workers and other residents.
At its peak, the manhunt involved more than 500 officers scouring the terrain for the two men.