Michael Burham, an Army veteran and survivalist, was being held in Pennsylvania on kidnapping charges and charges related to kidnapping when he escaped custody and went on the lam. Also suspected of murder and rape charges in New York, Burham hid out for more than a week as police launched a dramatic search effort and attempted to find him. He was finally captured nine days after his escape, looking “worn out” from the ordeal.
According to the police, Burham managed to escape from the jail’s gym to its rooftop on late July 6th using a rope made out of bedsheets. After escaping to the roof and then getting out of the jail complex, he was still wearing his jail-issues jumpsuit and Crocs, both of which were orange-striped, with only a denim jacket to cover his prison outfit. He was still wearing the jail clothes when captures, though the pants had been turned inside out, presumably to reduce his visibility.
He managed to elude the police for over a week and the PA State Police, nearly a week into the search for Burnham after his escape, raised the reward for help in finding and capturing him. They announced that on Facebook, saying, “As the search for Michael Burham continues, PSP and our law enforcement partners value support and tips received from the public. Call our tiplines at 717-265-9650 or 717-265-9651. The reward for information leading to his capture has increased to $19,500.”
Burham was caught when residents of Cnewango Township in Warren County, Pennsylvania called the police with a tip about a suspicious individual seen in the area. Burham had tipped off the residents when he tried making his way around the rear of a home in the area and alerted the homeowner’s dog, which began barking.
The owner of the home and dog went to check on what was making the dog go wild and found a suspicious man in his backyard, with the man telling him that he was on a “camping trip.” However, the homeowner wasn’t fooled. He recognized Burham from public announcements and so was able to contact the police and give them a tip on where Burham was located.
The police then responded quickly, setting up a large perimeter around where they believed Burham might be hiding. They used law enforcement officers, air support, and K-9 units to begin searching the area. Those assets managed to find Burham’s trail and track him through the words, where he was arrested and taken into custody at around 6 pm.
Over 200 law enforcement officers from 15 state, local, and even federal agencies participated in the massive manhunt for Burham after he escaped on the 6th and was finally captured on the 15th.
P osting on Facebook when he was finally caught, the Pennsylvania State Police said, “Michael Burham has been captured. Thank you to all partner agencies and the surrounding community for their assistance and support during this detail.” It has not yet been announced if Burham will face additional charges for his escape and evasion of arrest.
Burham image credit: Warren City Police Department
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