Inmate captured more than a week after escaping Pennsylvania jail

Fugitive Michael Burham was caught after being spotted ‘camping’ in homeowner’s back garden

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Sunday 16 July 2023 19:10 BST
Escaped Pennsylvania inmate captured: The latest

A “survivalist” murder suspect who escaped from a Pennsylvania prison using a rope made from bed sheets has been captured.

Fugitive Michael Burham, an Army veteran with survival and firearms training, was caught after being spotted in a homeowner’s back garden on Saturday.

Mr Burham, 34, had been the subject of an intense manhunt since he escaped from Pennsylvania’s Warren County jail on 6 July.

Officials say that Mr Burham was found camping in the back garden of a home in Conewango Township after the owner’s dog began barking.

“They went out to check on why the dog was barking, went to the rear of their property, they encountered Burham,” Pennsylvania State Police Lt Col George Bivens told reporters.

“I’m told that a conversation occurred, brief conversation, asking what was he doing there. He said something about camping. And the owner of the property recognised him, got his wife back into, they were in a golf cart...drove away from there so he could immediately contact us as Burham fled into the woods.”

Mr Burham was then “tracked through the woods” by multiple officers before being captured two hours after he was spotted.

He was being held on kidnapping and related charges and is also suspected of murder and rape in New York. Mr Burham is accused of shooting Kala Hodgkin of JamestownNew York, on 11 May before going on the run. He was eventually arrested in South Carolina following a multi-state manhunt.

Officials say that the suspect got onto the roof of the Pennsylvania jail’s gym before using the bedsheets to climb down.

Mr Burham served in the Army Reserve as a water treatment specialist and utilities equipment repairer from February 2008 to December 2020, according to Fox News.

Officials said that he would not be returned to Warren County Jail and that a decision on where he will be housed will be made after his arraignment.

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