Authorities in Pennsylvania are looking for a “dangerous” prisoner with survivalist skills who they claim used exercise equipment to elevate himself and tied-up bedsheets to descend from the roof to escape Warren County Prison, a county official said on Friday.
Inmate Michael Charles Burham, who was being held on arson and burglary charges and was a suspect in a homicide investigation, was found to have escaped on Friday, according to police in the city of Warren.
According to Warren police, Burham “was also associated with the prior carjacking and kidnapping of a local couple while trying to escape capture.”
The public is urged to be alert and report anything out of the ordinary because authorities believe him to be very dangerous.
A tweet regarding the Escape of Michael Charles Burham:
Coming up tonight on @NewsNation: We have the latest on the manhunt happening in Warren, Pennsylvania for escaped prisoner and suspected killer Michael Charles Burham. Police say his escape was something out of a movie: he climbed up on exercise equipment and used tied up… pic.twitter.com/SBJPEjJeKj
— Emily Finn (@EmilyRoseFinn) July 8, 2023
As Burham’s whereabouts were still unclear, federal, state, and local agencies conducted a broader search outside of Warren on Saturday, according to a police update.
The Saturday update on Facebook stated that “Pennsylvania State Police have assumed incident command due to geographical jurisdictions and resources as the search expands throughout the county and into areas of NY.”
The government is offering a reward of about $10,000 for information that results in Burham’s capture. That also includes a $2,000 prize from Warren County Crime Stoppers and a $75,000 reward from the US Marshals Service.
According to state police, Burham might have obtained a handgun during his flight.
Lt. Col. George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police stated during a press conference on Saturday that Burham “is a self-taught survivalist with military experience and could potentially be holed up in a wooded area near the city.”
Nearly 18 miles separate Warren in northern Pennsylvania from Jamestown, New York. The Allegheny National Forest is close by.
Burham may have changed from his jail garb, according to Bivens, despite the fact that he was last seen wearing an orange and white striped jump suit, a denim jacket, and crocs.
According to Cecile Stelter, a spokeswoman for Warren County, law enforcement deployed all-terrain vehicles, utility terrain vehicles, drones, and an airplane in addition to conducting searches on foot and with K-9 units.
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He is familiar with the area, is a survivalist, and has survival abilities, but there is currently no sign that he is receiving assistance from anyone, according to Stelter.
According to Stelter, “I think that right now, all of the resources are being focused on recapture and keeping the public safe. We don’t want people interacting in any way with him.”
According to Stelter, Warren County residents were encouraged to look through their houses and security footage from Thursday at 11:30 p.m. to Friday at 12:30 a.m. and contact authorities if they noticed anything unusual. Authorities advised hunters to check their game cameras.
The Warren County Prison declined to respond when contacted via phone.
Jaide Garcia and Zenebou Sylla of CNN contributed to this report.
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