A stockpile located outside the City of Warren believed to have belonged to Michael Burham. Photo courtesy Pennsylvania State Police.

Investigators Release Photo of Stockpile Found in Woods Believed to Belong to Burham

July 13, 2023

YOUNGSVILLE, Pa. – As the search for Michael Burham continues, Pennsylvania State Police released a photo on Thursday of a stockpile they believe belonged to Burham.

“We are releasing this as an example for the public of what we are looking for as they may be in the outdoors this coming weekend,” Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens, Deputy Commissioner of Operations for the Pennsylvania State Police said during a media conference at the Youngsville Borough Office Thursday. “This particular bag was wrapped in a dark-colored tarp and partially concealed under a log.”

Bivens said that there were no weapons in that particular stockpile, but police strongly believe that it belonged to Burham.

“What I would tell you is this has been found in the general area of the City of Warren, outside of the city in a wooded area, outside of the city, but not far,” Bivens said. “It contained clothing, some food, and some other materials that someone might need if they were trying to exist in the woods.

“We have been testing many of the things that we have gotten, again, I don’t want to go into a lot more detail about this particular bag, but what I will say about it is that we are testing many of the items and we continue to have that, and we have tests pending. We do believe it was his (Burham’s).”

Investigators are confident that Burham remains in the general area.

“There are enough pieces of information, and I’m not prepared to lay out all those pieces of information for you today for obvious reasons, but there are enough pieces of information to give us a fairly high confidence level that he is in the area,” Bivens said. “Investigators remain convinced that Burham remains in this general area, but we are aggressively following up on all leads. We continue to refer certain leads to several out-of-state law enforcement agencies. None of those leads have been substantiated at this point.”

To that end, investigators have been contacting property owners with camps in the area requesting permission to search the structures. Information obtained by Your Daily Local confirms at least one of those areas includes near Hearts Content in the area of Route 337 between Tidioute and Warren.

Bivens said law enforcement has received cooperation from property owners whose premises they have asked to search.

“It certainly depends on what we find at one of those sites,” Bivens said. “If we had a site that we could not contact the owner and we had a strong reason to believe that we need to get access then we would work with the district attorney’s office and obtain a search warrant. To this point, we have not found that to be necessary. We have been able to contact property owners or the property owners have contacted us and we’ve had permission to search anything that we wanted to search at this point.”

It is still believed that Burham is armed and has accomplices.

“We continue to investigate the possibility or likelihood that he has had accomplices, and we continue to collect evidence. If we get to a point of charging someone, I will certainly make that announcement,” Bivens said. “There is a lot of information that we are looking at in this investigation. Based on all of that information, we and I believe it is very likely that he has a firearm.”

Despite that, Bivens said that it remains safe for the public to be in the woods for recreational purposes.

“If I could articulate for you that I thought there was a tremendous risk for anyone out here in the woods, I would do that and I would advise people not to come here,” Bivens said. “We’ve worked with the forestry department, we’ve worked with the DCNR, Game Commission and so forth, and we’ve done that. A number of years ago, to your point about have we dealt with anyone in the woods, the (Eric) Frien investigation in the Poconos (in 2014). We did close down certain portions of the forest because of the threat that we believed existed at that time. So we won’t hesitate to do that if we have strong enough information that leads us to believe that might be a threat. We’ll get the word out.

“That’s why we continue to do these press briefings every day. I know I don’t always have something earth-shattering to share with you, but I want to give you the latest information, we want to be as transparent as possible, and we want to give you the opportunity to ask questions and have people make an informed decision.”

There was no significant update on the status of a drone that was reportedly in the vicinity of the Warren County Jail just prior to Burham’s escape.

“I’m told we may have some leads on that drone, but I have not seen anything conclusive on that yet,” Bivens said.

Bivens appealed to Burham to surrender.

“You need to surrender,” Bivens said when asked what he would say to Burham. “Don’t do anything foolish that gets anyone else hurt, don’t get yourself hurt. We are going to capture you, we are going to bring you back to the criminal justice system. This just needs to end.”

Bivens also announced that the reward for Burham now totals $22,000, up from $19,500. PA Crime Stoppers, the U.S. Marshals, and Warren County Crime Stoppers are each offering rewards for information leading to Burham’s capture.

Anyone with information is asked to call 717-265-9650.

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