Michael Burham is escorted into the Warren County Jail by Sheriff Brian Zeybel on June 20, 2023. File photo by Andy Close.

Murder, Kidnapping Suspect Burham Escapes From Warren County Jail

July 7, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – Michael C. Burham, the man connected to a May homicide in Jamestown as well as the kidnapping of a Sheffield couple, has escaped from the Warren County Jail, City of Warren police confirmed early Friday morning.

Burham, who is the primary suspect in the May 11 shooting death of Kala Hodgkin, which occurred at her residence on William St. in Jamestown. was still at-large as of 9 a.m. Friday.

“All citizens are urged to lock their doors and stay vigilant,” City of Warren Police said in a statement.

Anyone who sees Burham is asked to call 911 immediately.

“I don’t have the details on how the escape happened at this point,” DCNR Public Information Officer Cecile Stetler told Your Daily Local at 8:30 a.m. Friday morning. “He is on the loose and is considered dangerous.”

Burham was last seen at approximately 11:20 p.m. Thursday wearing a blue denim jacket with white lettering on the back that reads “Warren County Jail,” as well as orange and white striped pants.

The Jamestown Police Department and FBI have also been notified of the escape, City of Warren Police confirmed.

“Federal, state and local resources have all been brought in on this incident and both Pennsylvania and New York state law enforcement are working cooperatively,” Stelter said.

The big message is to the public is to be please careful because this person is out there. Right now, the search area is very broad. As they get more information, perhaps they may be able to narrow that or that may shift, but at this point its still very broad.”

The former Chautauqua County resident is also accused of setting fire to another woman’s car in Jamestown after the May 11 shooting incident. 

Just over a week later, Burham allegedly kidnapped a Sheffield couple from their home at gunpoint and used their vehicle to drive to South Carolina.

According to the affidavit of probable cause for the kidnapping and related charges, a family member reported Jessica and David Anundson missing to PSP-Warren at approximately 10:45 p.m. Saturday, May 20. The pair was supposed to attend their granddaughter’s soccer game at noon and failed to appear.

The couple was found safe and Burham was captured and extradited back to New York before being transferred to the Warren County jail, where he was arraigned by District Judge Raymond Zydonik on kidnapping charges on June 20.

The victims “related that they had been kidnapped at gunpoint from their residence” by Burham, troopers allege. The affidavit states that Jessica and David identified the person who kidnapped them as Burham “based on recent media reports . . . as well as conversations they had with Burham while they were being held against their will.”

Through interviews with law enforcement, troopers said, the victims stated that “Burham encountered Jessica Anundson in the garage area of the residence at gunpoint and escorted her into the residence against her will.” The affidavit states that once inside Burham took both Jessica and David into the bedroom and “obtained clothing belonging to the victims.”

Burham then forced the victims into their vehicle and made them drive to North Charleston, according to the affidavit. Once they arrived at the cemetery where the pair was located, Burham “advised them to exit the vehicle in a cemetery and then drove away in their 2022 Honda CR-V.”

Bail was set at $1,000,000

Burham has yet to be indicted on charges related to the Jamestown homicide.

The Warren County Courthouse is closed on Friday due to the escape of Burham, as is the City of Warren Summer Playground Program.

Stay with yourdailylocal.com for updates.

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