A 34-year-old murder suspect who escaped from a prison in northwestern Pennsylvania earlier this month was caught after a homeowner discovered him in his backyard, officials said.
Michael Charles Burham, who escaped from the Warren County Jail on July 6, was captured Saturday night in Warren County, Pennsylvania. This was announced at an evening press conference by Lieutenant Colonel of the Pennsylvania State Police George Bivens.
Just before 4:00 pm ET, a homeowner in the town of Conevango called authorities to report that he “discovered Burham” camping in his backyard after his dog started barking and he and his wife went on a hike, Bivens said. investigation.
“They went out to check why the dog was barking, went to the back of their property, they ran into Burham,” Bivens said. “They tell me that there was a conversation, a short conversation, they asked what he was doing there. He said something about camping. And the owner of the house recognized him, put his wife back, they were in a golf cart … left there so that he could immediately contact us, since Berham had fled into the forest.
According to Bivens, a search ensued involving “a significant number of ground personnel” as well as “air assets” and K9 aircraft.
According to Bivens, Burham was “tracked into the woods” and captured by several officers, including U.S. marshals, U.S. Border Patrol agents, and state police, shortly before 6 p.m., about two hours after he was spotted.
Bivens said Burham would not be returned to the Warren County Jail. He was interrogated at the Warren County State Police Department.
“A decision will be made on where he will ultimately be housed after arraignment,” Bivens said.
Police said Burham was charged with arson and burglary at the time of his escape and is a suspect in the murder investigation. He was also “linked” to a carjacking and kidnapping of a local couple in May.
Warren County spokeswoman Cecil Stelter told reporters the day after the escape that Burham “climbed” on a “trainer” and then used “sheets he tied together” to climb down from the roof and escape.
Bivens had previously described Burham as “a self-taught survivalist with military experience”.
Warren is located about 10 miles south of the New York state line and about 20 miles south of Jamestown, New York.
The manhunt involves local, state, and federal agencies, including the US Forest Service, US Border Patrol, and the Jamestown Police Department.