Law enforcement agencies from state, local, and federal levels have been tirelessly searching the forests of Pennsylvania and New York for Michael Burham, a fugitive murder suspect, Your Content has learned.
Burham, a former Army Reserve veteran with survival skills, is the primary suspect in the shooting death of Kala Hodgkin in Jamestown, New York. While being held on kidnapping and burglary charges in a Pennsylvania jail, the 35-year-old managed to escape by climbing out of the jailhouse gym using a makeshift rope made of bedsheets.
Authorities discovered potential campsites and other evidence indicating possible assistance during the ongoing manhunt. Here’s a chronological breakdown of the events:
May 11: Federal court filings revealed that Kala Hodgkin, a 34-year-old mother of three, was found shot dead in her Jamestown home.
Burham was already wanted for allegedly raping Hodgkin prior to her murder, according to the federal criminal complaint.
May 20: Authorities believe Burham traveled south to Pennsylvania, where a couple was reported missing along with their car. Pennsylvania police issued a missing persons alert, and on May 22, South Carolina authorities located the kidnapped couple alive.
May 22: South Carolina police found the Pennsylvania couple and their car, along with a note from Burham to his father. The note, as stated in court filings, expressed no remorse for his actions but mentioned feeling sorry for the children. Burham claimed to have stopped drinking on May 10 and apologized for the problems he caused his family. The kidnapped victims identified Burham as their alleged abductor.
May 23: While patrolling their property in South Carolina, Anthony Phillips, his girlfriend, and their dog discovered suspicious items near their shed. They encountered Burham wrapped in a Tyvek sheet, but he assured them he meant no harm and only wanted to escape.
July 6: Burham managed to escape from Warren County jail in Pennsylvania by utilizing gym equipment to climb to the roof and descending with a rope made of bedsheets. He was detained there on kidnapping, burglary, and other charges while investigations into Hodgkin’s murder continued in New York. Burham, a former Army Reserve member, served over 11 years as a water treatment specialist and utilities equipment repairer.
July 8: U.S. Marshals joined the manhunt and offered a reward of up to $9,500 for information leading to Burham’s capture. Individuals with relevant information were urged to contact the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office or call 911.
July 11: The reward for information regarding Burham’s whereabouts increased to $19,500. Police advised residents to familiarize themselves with Burham’s photograph and report any possible sightings. Rapid DNA testing was utilized to verify or exclude Burham’s presence in various locations tied to potential sightings and reported burglaries.
July 12: Authorities disclosed that they had received 500 tips thus far and urged residents to remain vigilant, monitor home surveillance systems, and report any suspicious activity. Additionally, they were investigating a drone sighting near the jail during the time of the escape to determine possible connections to the incident.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police expressed their readiness to assist U.S. investigators, indicating that their Border Integrity detachments were on alert for any potential crossing by the fugitive, according to FOX News.