A dog named Tucker put an end to the hunt for an escaped convict that had been eluding capture for over a week.
A Pennsylvania couple had a surprising encounter with fugitive murder suspect Michael Burham near their property while enjoying a peaceful Saturday afternoon on their patio.
Cynthia and Ron Ecklund were alerted to Burham’s presence by their dog, Tucker, who usually barks and chases animals near the creek but always comes back when called.
This time, Tucker refused to return and ran straight to the water, where he likes to disrupt the local fisherman.
Curious and concerned, Cynthia and Ron went to investigate and were startled to see Burham, shirtless and wearing rolled up orange prison pants.
They immediately recognized him as the fugitive from news reports and questioned his presence.
Burham claimed he was “camping,” but Ron, aware that he could be armed from reports, quickly wished him a good day and they took off in their golf cart with Tucker.
The Ecklund’s wasted no time in calling 911, and police arrived on scene shortly after.
“At 3:57 p.m., our tip line received a call from some residents on Jackson Run Road in Conewango Township, Warren County, about a suspicious individual,” said Lt. Col. George Bivens during a press conference.
A group of local officers, U.S. Marshals, Border Patrol, and State Police, created a perimeter and surrounded Burham.
He tried to hide in the woods, but the “tired and worn out” jailbird was taken into custody after nine days on the run.
The repeat offender managed to escape from the Warren County jail more than a week ago, using gym equipment to climb through a hole in the ceiling and onto the rooftop.
The Pennsylvania facility holds up to 140 inmates awaiting trial or are serving minimal sentences.
Once on the roof, he used a rope made of bed sheets to scale down the building and evade officers’ capture.
The former military reservist was on the run for over a week and was suspected to be in the area of Allegheny National Forest, where officials had found stockpiles of food and other materials “someone might need if they were trying to exist in the woods.”
Burham, currently incarcerated for arson and burglary, is also the prime suspect in the homicide of Kala Hodgkin in Jamestown, New York.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI in Buffalo, Hodgkin, aged 34, was discovered dead from gunshot wounds on May 11.
At the time of her murder, Burham was facing charges of rape she made against him, and had an active arrest warrant out related to that case, the FBI detailed.
On May 20, Pennsylvania State Police received a report about the disappearance of an elderly Pennsylvania couple.
The next day, the couple was found unharmed in a cemetery states away in North Charleston, South Carolina.
The FBI confirmed that the couple identified Burham as their kidnapper, asserting that he had forcibly abducted them at gunpoint from their home using their Honda SUV.
Despite his skills in eluding authorities as a “self-taught survivalist,” Burham could not escape Tucker’s keen senses.
Ron and Cynthia were awarded $2,000 by Crime Stoppers, but credit Tucker for their discovery and plan to reward him with new toys and a delicious steak dinner.