Pennsylvania escaped inmate arrested after barking dog led to tip to police

The manhunt for the escaped Pennsylvania inmate who is suspected of multiple crimes, including the murder of a New York City woman, ended Saturday night, state police said.

Michael Charles Burham, 34, was arrested at 5:50 p.m. Saturday in Warren County, Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said.

Officials were tipped off to its location after residents heard their dog barking and went to find out why. They met a man and asked him why he was there, which the man referred to as camping, Bivens said.

The owner recognized Burham and left to contact officials, and Burham fled into the woods, he said.

“It’s been our strategy from the start,” Bivens said, “to push him hard, for him to make a mistake, he finally did.

Burham escaped from the Warren County Jail on July 7 by climbing through the metal roof grates of the jail’s yard. He then descended using sheets tied together, authorities said.

Staff realized he was missing within minutes, and authorities launched an eight-day manhunt involving 15 federal and state agencies.

Bivens said the escapee was trapped on Saturday in a perimeter of law enforcement officers closing in on him in the woods about 5 miles (8 km) north of the town of Warren.

“He encountered perimeter soldiers there, tried to lie down and hide, and was approached from behind” by law enforcement officers who closed in behind him, Bivens said. .

Bloodhounds and other police tracking dogs were used in the final search for Burham. “He was followed and pushed by a line of tactical members,” Bivens said.

He was taken into custody at gunpoint and will face trial for escape, he said.

Authorities said earlier Saturday they believe the escapee remained in the Warren area. Bivens said police conducted at least one search in the area which was promising but ultimately inconclusive.

As the manhunt was underway, Bivens warned locals that it is “quite likely” that Burham is armed and that no one should approach him if they see him. He said Saturday he was unarmed when captured.

Cecile Stelter, spokesperson for Warren County, noted that Burham is known to have “survival skills” and is comfortable living in wooded areas.

Authorities continue to investigate whether Burham received assistance while fleeing.

Burham was being held in the county on kidnapping and other related charges. He is accused of kidnapping a couple from Warren County while fleeing authorities in New York, where he is a suspect in the May 11 murder of Kala Hodgkin.

Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt said last month that there are currently no state charges against Burhman in the murder case.

He was charged with absconding to avoid prosecution in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York in May. The case was dismissed without prejudice on June 16, according to court records.

A federal criminal complaint alleges that Hodgkin was found fatally shot in his home. At the time of the murder, there was an active arrest warrant charging Burham with raping the woman, according to the complaint.

While police were on their way to Hodgkin’s home, a separate call came in saying Burham allegedly tried to break into an ex-girlfriend’s house and then set her car on fire, the complaint says. .

Burham fled, leading authorities on a multi-state manhunt before his May 24 capture in South Carolina, the Jamestown Police Department in New York said.

The complaint said Burham kidnapped a couple at gunpoint from their Sheffield, Pennsylvania home while he was on the run. They were found alive in a cemetery in North Charleston, South Carolina.

There was a note in their vehicle which was allegedly written by Burham telling his father he was ‘safe at this time’ and apologizing ‘for all the trouble I have caused the family’, the report says. complaint.

This article originally appeared on

Leave a Comment