Pennsylvania State Police have centered their manhunt for Michael Burham in Warren, Pennsylvania.
State Police Deputy Commissioner of Operations Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens said the search has found small stockpiles and campsites in the woods near Warren that they believe are related to Burham.
The 34-year old escaped from the Warren County Jail just before midnight on July 6. Bivens said Burham had been held there on $1 million bail for kidnapping, burglary, and other charges.
The City of Warren Police Department are handling the investigation of Burham’s escape from the Warren County Jail.
Bivins said they believe it’s likely that Burham has changed clothes, “Burham is a self-taught survivalist with military reserves experience. We believe he has previously prepared to conceal himself in the woods. And in the past 24 hours, and since our last press conference, we’ve searched numerous residences, abandoned structures, and vast wooded areas. All of those searches driven by tips or investigative decisions.”
Bivins said it’s also possible that Burham is getting assistance from others.
He said Burham is considered armed and dangerous and that people should not try to approach him and instead call 9-1-1. Bivins added that all tips are being investigated. Anyone with tips, even from outside the area, is asked to call Pennsylvania State Police at 814-728-3600.
The U.S. Marshalls have offered a $7,500 reward with Warren Crimestoppers offering $2,000 for information leading to Michael Burham’s capture and arrest.
The Chautauqua County District Attorney is concerned that Michael Burham may try to return to Chautauqua County.
The District Attorney’s office considers Burham to be the prime suspect in the death of 34-year old Kala Hodgkin of 125 William Street in Jamestown.
District Attorney Jason Schmidt said Burham has ties to Chautauqua County, “The witnesses in the case we’re developing here in Chautauqua County, those are our primary concerns. To make sure they’re protected, that they’re safe, that there’s no issues there. So all of our resources right now are dedicated to that.”
This is the second manhunt for Michael Burham. The first started following the death of Hodgkin on May 11. Burham is also alleged to kidnapped an elderly Sheffield, Pennsylvania couple, who he forced to drive him to South Carolina. He was captured in that state on May 24.
Schmidt said Burham was being held in Warren County for the kidnapping charges with an open investigation still taking place in Chautauqua County, “We’re waiting on some laboratory testing results and other developments of evidence arising from the tragic homicide of Kala Hodgkin and a related arson that occurred. Now, our case is a little more complex, so we deliberately withheld charging because we have to be very careful about when we charge because it’s a full steam ahead, go. We expect to be moving in that direction soon.”
According to the Jamestown Post-Journal, as of Saturday, police officials do not believe Burham has crossed into New York state.