FBI Columbia
Public Affairs Officer Kevin Wheeler
803-551-4200 - columbiamedia@fbi.gov
May 24, 2023

Fugitive Arrested Following Multi-Agency Manhunt

The FBI, along with its law enforcement partners, arrested 34-year-old Michael Burham on a federal arrest warrant Wednesday following a days-long manhunt.

Burham was arrested near United Drive and Halfway Creek Road in the Huger community near the Berkeley-Charleston county line. He nor any first responders were injured. Authorities credit an observant resident for spotting Burham near his residence in rural Berkeley County and calling 911. Responding teams used K-9s to track Burham.

A federal arrest warrant was issued Monday out of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York for the unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Burham was also wanted for state warrants out of New York and Pennsylvania.

Burham had been on the run after a spree of alleged crimes, including a sexual assault in Jamestown, New York, and the kidnapping of an elderly couple in Pennsylvania. The couple alleges Burham kidnapped them from their home, drove them in their vehicle to North Charleston, and released them physically unharmed.

A large law enforcement search to locate and arrest Burham took place following the incident. Burham had reportedly been sighted multiple times in the following days. A Berkeley County sheriff’s deputy contacted Burham on Tuesday, but Burham ran and was not located until today’s arrest.

“The most effective weapon against crime is cooperation,” said Steve Jensen, special agent in charge of the FBI Columbia division. “This matter was resolved quickly and peacefully because of the cooperation between the community who remained alert and law enforcement who persisted in their pursuit of this fugitive.”

“I am grateful to all the law enforcement agencies who came together and put in hundreds of hours of hard work to get a dangerous man out of our communities, said Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano. “We also thank the many residents throughout the Charleston region who served as extra eyes on the streets, submitting countless tips and sightings. We all came together, and our communities are safer tonight because of it.”

“I am pleased that Burham was apprehended today,” Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis stated. The Huger community can rest easy tonight knowing they are safe. I am exceptionally proud of the work that was done by everyone involved, their perseverance is what led to the capture of this fugitive. Working together with our local, state, and federal partners helped us reach our goal. A special thank you to the FBI, SLED, U.S. Marshals, SC PPP, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, SC DNR, North Charleston Police Department, Summerville Police Department, City of Charleston Police Department, and Mount Pleasant Police Department. I am also thankful to every citizen that called into dispatch with tips.”

Burham will be extradited to New York to face his charges.