Escaped Inmate, a Survivalist, Remains on the Run

Michael Burham at large on East Coast, and there's a second escaped inmate on the West Coast
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2023 10:40 AM CDT

Two manhunts for escaped prisoners were underway Monday on opposite sides of the country. Michael Burham, 34, escaped from the Warren County Jail in Pennsylvania on Thursday, while Eric Abril, 35, slipped away from a California hospital while under armed guard on Sunday. Both inmates have violent criminal records. Coverage:

  • Survivalist: Burham is a survivalist who authorities say may be able to survive for a while in the wilderness near the Pennsylvania prison, reports the New York Times. The facility is near Jamestown, New York, and the expansive Allegheny National Forest. Police have found campsites in the woods and small stockpiles of unspecified supplies that he may have used, per They say it's possible he's getting help and could have a weapon by now.
  • Prepared: "It supports what we've said all along, that he's prepared, as a survivalist in the past, and tried to be ready, if you will, to spend time in the woods," said Lt. Col. George Bivens of Pennsylvania State Police, per the Times. Burham also has military training. Authorities are asking residents in the region to take precautions and check any home surveillance videos they may have.
  • Escape, background: Burham climbed atop exercise equipment to get out on the prison roof, then reached the ground with bedsheets tied together, says a Warren County official. He was being held on kidnapping, burglary, and other charges, and is a suspect in a May homicide in Jamestown, per the AP. Burham led police on a multistate manhunt before being captured after that May murder, per ABC News.

  • Abril: In California, Abril escaped from the Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where he'd been brought for an unspecified medical condition, reports SFGate. He'd been under 24-hour guard, but he somehow slipped away, barefoot, about 3am Sunday. "There was a brief foot pursuit with a deputy who was on scene," says Placer County Sheriff Wayne Woo. "Unfortunately, Abril was still able to escape."
  • Video: Authorities confirm this video shows a shirtless Abril after the escape.
  • History: Abril faces charges of murder, attempted murder, and kidnapping related to an April confrontation detailed in this police report, per CNN. Police say he took two hostages at one point and shot both of them, one of them fatally. Abril also allegedly shot a California Highway Patrol officer, per ABC.
(More prison escape stories.)

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