Erie County, Pa. (WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Murder suspect Michael Burham is currently behind bars at the Erie County Prison. Authorities captured Burham in Conewango Township, Warren County on Saturday following a nine day manhunt.
Burham, 34, escaped from the Warren County Prison on July 6 by climbing on exercise equipment, using tied-up bedsheets to escape from a window. He is accused of reportedly raping and killing a woman in Jamestown, New York, setting a car on fire, then kidnapping an elderly couple at gunpoint in Warren County and taking them to South Carolina.
At the time of his escape, he was being held in the Warren County Jail on a $1 million bond after he was captured in May in South Carolina following a two-week manhunt. A total reward of up to $22,000 was being offered for information leading to his capture.
Burham was taken into custody Saturday, July 15 by the U.S. Marshals on a federal warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
The Erie County Prison Warden explained to us what protocols they are taking when dealing with a high risk inmate like Burham.
Right now, Burham is in a restricted housing unit status, which keeps him isolated from others. He is in sandals and a suicide gown because they are unsure of his current mental state.
Burham will be evaluated by the prison’s psychologist and mental health team.
“This national profile guy is causing us to have a very busy weekend and Monday. As far as operations, it’s normal operations here, we just have different things going on based on him and how we’re dealing with him,” said Kevin Sutter, Erie County Prison Warden.
Right now, Burham is on a federal hold, meaning the prison is acting as a holding authority. The warden tells us they are currently not sure how long Burham will stay at the Erie County Prison.
The Warren County Commissioners on Saturday released a statement, stating the Prison Board will be investigating the circumstances that led to his escape, and implementing any necessary reforms to “avoid future incidents.” Read the full statement below:
Burham’s escape from the Warren County Jail is being investigated by the Warren City Police Department and the Warren County District Attorneys Office.