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Massive Manhunt Underway For Fugitive Wanted For Rape, Murder, Kidnapping

Huger, SC – A large-scale multistate manhunt is underway for a suspect wanted on homicide, kidnapping, and rape charges after the fugitive took off from Berkeley County deputies while they were attempting to identify him on Tuesday.

“We need to get this person in custody,” Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano said on Wednesday, according to WCSC. “This guy is dangerous. This is a fugitive. He is desperate, he’s tired, he’s hungry… please do not approach him.”

Multiple law enforcement agencies have been searching for 34-year-old Michael Charles Burham since the weekend, WCIV reported.

Burham has an active warrant out of New York for rape and is also the suspect in the ongoing investigation into the murder of Kala Hodgkin, according to The Buffalo News.

On May 21, North Charleston police responded to a home and located two victims who had been kidnapped from their home in Pennsylvania and transported over to North Charleston, according to WCIV.

The victims allegedly told police Burham was the man who abducted them.

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release on Tuesday that deputies responded to Halfway Creek Road at approximately 11 a.m. that day after receiving a call from a concerned citizen regarding a “suspicious male” in the area.

Deputies located a man on South Hampton Road who matched the description provided by the citizen.

But when deputies began speaking with him, the suspect allegedly provided them with a fake name and took off running on foot.

“Deputies did pursue the subject, but he was able to get away,” the BCSO said. “The subject dropped a bookbag and inside were articles that confirmed Burham’s identity.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Burham’s arrest.

FBI spokesperson Kevin Wheeler said Burham, who should be considered armed and dangerous, may be hitchhiking or using a dark-colored, beach-cruiser-type bicycle for transportation, WCSC reported.

He is described as a white male with facial hair who stands approximately five feet, nine inches tall and weighs around 150 pounds, the BCSO said.

Burham was last seen wearing white and blue shorts and a gray shirt.

“This guy is very good at evading law enforcement and we need your help,” Sheriff Graziano said during a press conference on Wednesday. “We don’t know what your structures, your houses, your properties, look like… so if you see something out of the ordinary, we need you to call us.”

“If you have cameras at your house, you have deer stands, a Ring doorbell, anything like that, surveillance cameras; If you have any of that, check it,” the sheriff implored. “If you see somebody that might match that description, please let us know where you are so we can come take a look.”

Hundreds of law enforcement officers have been combing the area for the past 24 hours, including the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon, the FBI, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Mount Pleasant police, Charleston police, Summerville police, North Charleston police, the BCSO, and the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.

“Burham is being searched for intensively, by ground and air,” the BCSO said. “If anyone believes they spot Burham, they are asked to contact 911 immediately. DO NOT approach the fugitive, as he is believed to be armed and very dangerous.”

This is a developing story and we will keep you updated. For all of our updates, follow us on Facebook and go to your news feed preferences under your settings, then select that you want to see more of The Police Tribune’s posts in your news feed. Otherwise, Facebook may not show you updates.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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