Everyday Dog Helps Catch Escaped Fugitive

A recently escaped Pennsylvania inmate was captured with the aid of an unlikely but very intelligent accomplice.

On Saturday, Ron and Cindy Ecklund of Conewango Township, New York, heard their dog, Tucker, barking in the woods behind their home. According to reports on Monday, the Ecklunds realized something was very wrong.

The pair got in their golf cart and headed off in the general direction of his barking. However, they did not expect to run into Michael Burham, who they subsequently learned was an escaped criminal.

Reports state that on Monday, a 34-year-old inmate at the Warren County jail had escaped by using exercise equipment to scale the building’s roof and then shimmied to the ground using bed sheets. 

Kala Hodgkin was shot in Jamestown, New York, and Burham is considered the prime suspect. He also apparently burned a parked car and kidnapped a Pennsylvania couple. Reports claim that he hid from authorities for nine days after his escape.

Ron Ecklund claims that he asked the man what he was doing when they ran into him, and the man replied, “I’m camping.”

However, Ecklund had already established that he was Burham. The pair waited a few seconds before quickly exiting back home while placing a 911 call. The wanted man was captured in short order.

An official said they were waiting for Burham to make a mistake, referring to the discovery in an area that law enforcement had been searching. The fugitive eventually made the mistake of threatening the property of the concerned canine.

The outcome would have been different if Tucker hadn’t notified his owners of the man’s presence. Ecklund said this of his loyal friend when asked: “He’s the hero.”

The Warren Crime Stoppers group reportedly awarded the couple $2,000 to show appreciation for their help in reducing crime in the area.