State police announced that the manhunt for the escaped Pennsylvania inmate suspected of multiple offenses, including the murder of a New York woman, ended Saturday evening.
Michael Charles Burham, 34, was apprehended at 5:50 p.m. on Saturday in Warren County, according to Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police.
Residents alerted authorities to his location after hearing their dog howl and going to investigate. Bivens stated that they encountered a man and asked him why he was there; the man mentioned camping.
According to him, the property owner recognized Burham and left to contact authorities, while Burham fled into the forests.
“That’s been our strategy all along,” Bivens said, “to press him hard and force him to make a mistake, which he eventually did.
Burham escaped from the Warren County Jail on July 7 by scaling through the roof’s metal grates. Authorities say he then clambered down using tied-together bedsheets.
The staff realized he was missing within minutes, and 15 federal and state agencies launched an eight-day manhunt.
Bivens stated that the fugitive was captured on Saturday by a perimeter of law enforcement officers who were closing in on him in the forests approximately five miles north of Warren.
Bivens stated, “He encountered perimeter troopers there, attempted to prone out and hide, and was approached from behind” by officers who closed in from behind.
During the final manhunt for Burham, bloodhounds and other police tracking dogs were used. Bivens stated, “He was being pursued and pushed by a line of tactical members.”
According to him, he was brought into custody at gunpoint and will be charged with escape.
Authorities stated earlier on Saturday that they believe the fugitive is still in the Warren region. Bivens stated that police conducted at least one promising but ultimately fruitless investigation in the region.
During the manhunt, Bivens warned area residents that it is “entirely likely” that Burham is armed and that no one should approach him if they see him. He stated on Saturday that he was unarmed at the time of his detention.
According to Cecile Stelter, a spokesperson for Warren County, Burham is known to have “survivalist skills” and is comfortable living in forested areas.
Officials continue to investigate whether Burham received assistance while on the run.
Burham was being detained in the county on charges of kidnapping and others. He is accused of kidnapping a couple from Warren County while evading authorities in New York, where he is a suspect in the murder of Kala Hodgkin on May 11.
Last month, Jason Schmidt, the district attorney for Chautauqua County, stated that there are no state charges pending against Burhman in the homicide case.
In May, he was accused of evasion of justice in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. On June 16, the case was dismissed without prejudice, according to court records.
According to a federal criminal complaint, Hodgkin was discovered fatally shot at her residence. According to the complaint, there was an active arrest warrant for Burham at the time of the murder, charging him with raping the victim.
While police were en route to Hodgkin’s residence, a separate call indicated that Burham had allegedly attempted to break into an ex-girlfriend’s home and then set her vehicle on fire, according to the complaint.
Burham fled, leading authorities on a multistate manhunt until his apprehension on May 24 in South Carolina, according to the Jamestown, New York, Police Department.
While on the run, Burham allegedly abducted a couple at gunpoint from their residence in Sheffield, Pennsylvania. They were discovered alive in a North Charleston, South Carolina, cemetery.
The complaint alleges that Burham left a note in their vehicle informing his father that he was “safe for now” and apologizing “for all the problems I caused the family.”
Doha Madani is an NBC News senior breaking news correspondent. She or her pronouns are used.
Contributions were made by Minyvonne Burke, Julianne McShane, Yasmeen Persaud, and Dennis Romero.