BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Authorities have captured fugitive Michael Burham after a multi-day search that spanned two Lowcountry counties.
Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis said they received a call from a resident on Wednesday afternoon after spotting Burham on their property off United Drive. Burham ran from behind a shed which ultimately led to his capture shortly after 5:15 p.m.
“Teams were very close. We were concentrating on the area. SLED, the FBI, Charleston County, bloodhounds — they all moved in and he was taken into custody,” said Sheriff Lewis.
Burham was not in great shape upon his capture after moving through sections of the Francis Marion National Forest for days. “You could tell he had been in the elements for some time,” Sheriff Lewis added.
Neighbors who were watching the law enforcement activity in a rural area of the county cheered after BCSO spokeswoman Carli Drayton announced Burham was captured.
Burham was taken to the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office where he will be booked and processed. He will be extradited to New York to face his charges.
Burham, who was wanted in connection to a sexual assault and homicide out of Jamestown, New York, made his way to the Lowcountry Sunday after allegedly kidnapping an elderly couple from Pennsylvania.
The couple said that he drove them to North Charleston and then let them go.
A federal arrest warrant was issued by the U.S. District Court of the Western District of New York Monday for the unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, according to the FBI.
Hundreds of law enforcement agents, including the FBI and State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) agents, assisted in the search. A $10,000 reward for his capture was offered by the FBI.
A large area of the Francis Marion National Forest in Huger was saturated Tuesday after officials encountered Burham, but he escaped.
Overnight Tuesday, a sighting was reported near Awendaw in Charleston County, so resources were shifted to that area.
On Wednesday afternoon, Berkeley County officials got a tip that a man matching Burham’s description was spotted behind a home on United Drive, in the same area where officials had been searching Tuesday.
Law enforcement officials quickly moved search efforts back to Berkeley County, where Burham was taken into custody.
Editor’s note: This story is breaking and will be updated.