A Pennsylvania inmate and prime suspect in a murder escaped from prison last Thursday and has been on the run ever since.
Michael Burham, 34, was able to escape from the Warren County Prison late last Thursday using exercise equipment to help him reach a window, which he then climbed down with a rope made from bedsheets, the Associated Press reported. The search is now stretching into its seventh day, with authorities in Pennsylvania assuring the public they are making progress.
“I personally believe we are on the right track here,” Lt. Col. George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police said at a press conference on Wednesday, according to WGRZ. “We will follow any lead anywhere.”
“We have additional information that we have gleaned recently that causes me to have additional concerns that he may be armed,” Bivens added, according to WIVB.
Investigators also said at the press conference that a drone may have been flying over the prison on the night Burham escaped, with authorities looking for the operator and wondering if they could have been an accomplice of Burham’s.
“I’m not a big believer in coincidences,” Bivens said at the press conference. “It could be that there was a perfectly innocent and reasonable explanation. It could also be that it was somehow connected to his escape. And we intend to find out more about that.”
Warren County Commissioner Jeff Eggleston told reporters that prison staff were unaware of a broken fence in the rooftop prison yard that allowed Burham to escape, and by the time guards found it, Burham was already gone.
“The idea that our staff from within the facility were able to get out run around to the other side of the facility or even be able to respond quickly enough to grab him before he got away is just not logistically possible,” Eggleston said.
Warren County Board of Commissioners Vice Chair Benjamin Kafferlin assured residents that someone would be held accountable for the escape.
“I’m so sorry for the sleepless nights and the cloud of uncertainty that it has yet to give away to answer,” he added.
Earlier this week, Biven said that authorities “located small stockpiles or campsites in wooded areas in the general vicinity of Warren, and we believe that at least some of those may be associated with Burham.”
Burham is known as a “survivalist” and was being held on $1 million bail for charges of kidnapping, burglary, and other charges. He is also the prime suspect in the May 11 murder of Kala Hodgkin, 34, as well as a related arson. He’s also accused of abducting an elderly couple in Pennsylvania.