Michael C. Burham is searched by police after being captured Saturday, July 15. Photo used with permission from the photographer, David Vermilyea

Burham Captured; Barking Dog Helped Lead to Fugitive’s Arrest

July 15, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – Escaped Warren County Jail inmate Michael C. Burham has been captured.

UPDATE, 12:15 p.m. July 16: Pennsylvania State Police said in a release that Burham was detained by U.S. Marshals under a federal warrant for Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution and that Burham is being held in the Erie County Prison.

Burham was captured in the vicinity of Jackson Run Road and Logan Road in North Warren around 5:50 p.m. Saturday, July 15.

According to Lt. Colonel George Bivens, Deputy Commissioner of Operations for the Pennsylvania State Police, a dog barking on a property alerted that property’s owners just prior to 4 p.m. Saturday of Burham’s presence

A noticeably relieved Bivens said the tip line that had been set up to help capture Burham received a call at 3:57 p.m. from a resident on Jackson Run Road, Conewango Township about a “suspicious individual” and that by 5:50 p.m. Burham was in custody.

“(Once we got the tip) we mobilized resources like we have done numerous times including a significant number of personal on the ground, aviation assists, and K9s,” Bivens said. “(We) formed a very large perimeter around that area. He had been tracked through the woods. As he approached Logan Road, he encountered a perimeter of troopers and attempted to hide. He was approached from behind by members of the (U.S.) Marshalls, border patrol, and Pennsylvania State Police and taken into custody.”

Burham is placed into a Border Patrol car after being captured July 15. Photo used with permission from the photographer, David Vermilyea

The barking dog turned out to be the giveaway of Burham.

“They went out to check on why the dog was barking at the rear of their property,” Bivens said. “They encountered Burham. I am told a brief conversation occurred about what he was doing there. He said something about camping. The owner of the property recognized him and got his wife back into (their) golf cart and drove away from there so they could contact us.”

At that point, Burham fled into the woods before being captured.

“It is a great relief,” Bivens said. “All of us were concerned that a citizen or one of the officers would be harmed in some way.”

Watch the 7:30 p.m. media conference

Bivens said Burham appeared tired and worn out as police thought he might.

“He was still wearing his prison pants inside out,” Bivens said.

Burham’s fatigue might have led to him making a mistake in being spotted.

“He came out into the open and was spotted by an individual,” Bivens said when asked what mistake Burham made. “It was in the area or portions of the area where we have been pushing hard. That was kind of our strategy all along to push him hard and have him make a mistake. He finally did.”

Burham was taken to the Warren barracks of the Pennsylvania State Police where he was being processed as of 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

While no determination has been made as to what facility Burham will be housed in, Bivens did confirm it would not be the Warren County Jail from which he escaped from July 6.

“A determination will be made were he will be housed following his arraignment,” Bivens said. “It will not be in the Warren County facility. We are still determining where he will go.”

Burham was not armed when he was taken into custody, although some of the stockpiles authorities had linked him to throughout the Warren area using DNA evidence did have ammunition with them leading police to suspect that he possibly could have been armed, Bivens said.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Subscribe to our newsletter

White Cane Coffee presents Coffee & a Conversation