BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Michael Burham, the man who escaped from Warren County Jail on July 6, was captured Saturday evening in northwest Pennsylvania.
Police received a tip just before 4 p.m. about a suspicious person on Jackson Run Road in Conewango Township. Police said homeowners went to see what their dog was barking at when they discovered Burham, who told them he was camping. But they recognized him from photos and called 911. Police formed a perimeter around the area, and Burham was taken into custody at gunpoint by 5:50 p.m. following a brief pursuit.
Police said Burham did not have anything in his immediate possession, but a search will occur in the area where he was found. He was not armed at the time of capture, but ammunition had been found in some bags that were recovered by police in the past handful of days.
Burham is currently in custody of Pennsylvania State Police, where he is being processed. He will not be brought back to Warren County Jail. He will be arraigned on charges connected to the escape on Saturday night.
Sunday, authorities said that Burham is being held at the Erie County (PA) Prison. He was detained by the United States Marshalls Service on a federal warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Lt. Col. George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police described Burham’s condition as “worn out,” and said that he was dirty and wet upon his capture. He had changed his top, and was wearing his jail-issued pants inside-out.
Saturday was the ninth day in the search for Burham, who is suspected of murder and rape in addition to being charged with burglary and kidnapping. He was last seen in the Warren County Jail around 11:20 p.m. on the night he escaped.
His capture brings an end to a crime spree that lasted at least since May 11, when the body of 34-year-old Kala Hodgkin was found in Jamestown. Burham was later named as a “prime suspect” in Hodgkin’s death. He has not been charged related to her death.
While Burham ran from police the first time, he allegedly kidnapped an elderly couple in Pennsylvania and drove them down to South Carolina, where he was captured on May 24. He was brought back to the area in June and extradited to face kidnapping charges in Pennsylvania, where he escaped the jail on July 6. The escape happened during Burham’s recreation time, where he used bed sheets and exercise equipment to rappel down the side of the building. He was being held at Warren County Jail on kidnapping and burglary charges in connection to the alleged kidnapping.
The Warren County Board of Commissioners acknowledged on Wednesday that repairs need to be made to the jail.
There were no official sightings of Burham leading up to his capture. On Friday, Pennsylvania State Police released a video that they had believed to depict Burham, but it was taken back by police earlier in the day on Saturday. Police had said that they received several hundred tips leading up to the capture.
During the search, law enforcement used helicopters and drones to search the area, as well as officers and dogs. Police noted several times that the terrain was difficult to navigate on foot.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.
Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.