Cops: We Found Escaped Inmate's Survival Cache

Murder suspect and survivalist Michael Burham thought to still be in woods near Warren, Pa.
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2023 11:29 AM CDT
Cops: We Found Escaped Inmate's Survival Cache
This booking photo provided by the Warren, Pa., City Police Department shows Michael Burham.   (Warren City Police Department via AP)

Authorities believe they've found a hidden stash of supplies used by Michael Burham, a murder, kidnapping, burglary, and arson suspect who escaped from a Pennsylvania jail a week ago. A bag containing food, clothes, and "other materials that someone might need if they were trying to exist in the woods" was found in the woods near Warren city, home to the Warren County Jail, State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said Thursday, per CNN. "We do believe that this one was his," Bivens added of the bag, which was hidden under a log and protected by a tarp.

A photo of the bag was released days after police reported finding campsites believed to have been used by Burham. Authorities describe the 34-year-old as a survivalist and former military reservist who may be prepared to live for some time in the woods near Warren, which is just outside Allegheny National Forest. An ex-girlfriend tells WIVB that Burham "has the upper hand" in the woods. An expert in strategy games who comes from a family of lumberjacks, "he has the knowledge he needs to evade any sort of tracking. He knows how to get rid of his scent and go through the water. He knows how to make diversion trails," the woman says.

Burham escaped shortly before midnight on July 6 by reaching the roof of the jail through a hole in fencing covering an open air exercise yard, then descending using a rope made of bedsheets, per CNN. Two people heard a drone "immediately adjacent to the jail" around the time, though it was not captured by surveillance cameras, Bivens told reporters Wednesday, per the AP. "If there's not an innocent explanation, perhaps that assists us in finding him and also finding anyone providing aid," Bivens said. Authorities believe Burham is receiving help and is likely to be armed. A $22,000 reward is offered for information leading to his capture. (Read more prison escape stories.)

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