Manhunt’s End Means Healing, Search For Answers Can Begin For Area Families

A multi-state manhunt has come to an end.

The search for Michael Burham wasn’t as protracted as the search for Ralph Phillips, but for a short time it was just as disruptive. School days were disrupted in Chautauqua and Warren counties as schools did their best to keep school children out of harm’s way. Area residents had good reason to be concerned, especially after the kidnapping last weekend of a Sheffield couple as Burham tried to leave the area. Those concerns spread as the trail for Burham seemed to go cold again this week before two chance encounters with the public helped bring the manhunt to an end. In the end a barking dog with a smart owner led to Burham’s eventual capture.

The kidnapping of a couple in Sheffield showed what could happen if Burham wasn’t captured. Police needed to act before more innocent people’s lives were disrupted, and they couldn’t have done acted without the public’s help. Police talk often about the need for the public’s help to solve crimes. Nowhere was that more evident than this search. Police agencies in South Carolina were able to tighten their search areas thanks to tips from aware and concerned citizens.

There is a lot about what happened on May 11 on Williams and Fulton streets as well as May 20 in Sheffield that we don’t know. Frankly,there is also a rape charge for which a victim deserves closure. Now that Burham has been found several area families can begin filling in the blanks.

We will soon get the answers so many seek and families will get the closure they deserve.


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