JAMESTOWN, NY – We’re learning more about the elderly Warren County couple allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint by Michael C. Burham, the fugitive in a Jamestown, New York, domestic homicide.
State police believe he forced a Sheffield couple to travel with him in their car to South Carolina. “Our victim couple from Sheffield was abducted after being threatened with a handgun,” Sgt. Ryan Burns of the Warren barracks said. “They were forced to drive him in their vehicle, a 2022 Honda CRV to North Charleston, South Carolina.”
According to the criminal complaint, it appears murder suspect Michael Burham had been hiding out around the couple’s property on Route 6 in Sheffield for about a week, until he met them face-to-face Saturday afternoon, threatened them with a handgun, took their car at gunpoint and forced them to travel with him to South Carolina.
Family members became concerned when David Anundson, 89, and his wife Jessica, 68, failed to show up at their grandchild’s soccer game Saturday. They came to their home and business along Route 6, to check things out, and found dirt and mud on the floor of the home, and partially eaten food sitting out. They also noted that the family car was gone. Only later would they learn that the couple had been kidnapped at gunpoint by a man wanted for rape, arson and murder in Jamestown, NY.
After trying to reach her parents all day, daughter Katherine Dysinger called state police and provided the information to put out a missing and endangered persons report.
At about 6:34 a.m. Sunday, PSP Warren were contacted by troopers of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. David and Jessica Anundson had been located at a cemetery in North Charleston, South Carolina. It’s a nearly 12-and-a-half-hour car ride and about 787 miles from home.
According to the police criminal complaint, the Anundsons related to law enforcement authorities in South Carolina that they had been kidnapped from their residence in Sheffield, and based on media reports were able to identify their abductor as fugitive Michael Burham. “I can’t even begin to understand how traumatic and tragic this incident is not only for the victims, but their family,” Sgt. Burns said.
According to the couple, the suspect dropped the Anundsons off in the cemetery, and drove away in their silver Honda CRV. Authorities found the vehicle about a mile away and impounded it as part of the investigation.
The couple’s Warren County neighbors who are just learning about the kidnapping were stunned that something so frightening took place so close by. We talked with Marlene Zimmer who lives two doors away. ” I’m going to start crying because like you said — two doors away from me…I mean I think it’s just devastating that here in Sheffield something like this would happen.”
State police say the couple is okay and got through the ordeal as best they could.
Burham now faces 26 more charges including filed by Pennsylvania State Police including felony kidnapping counts, burglary and terroristic threats of bodily harm from. He is still at large.
Based on further information provided by Jessica and David Anundson, authorities believe Burham was staying on their property or nearby and had been watching their residence for about a week. During a search of the area around their home investigators found multiple items including a plastic tarp, camouflage clothing, and water bottles not belonging to the victims. Inside the garage they also found a pair of size 11 Rocky brown and camouflage boots not belonging to the Anundsons.
The homicide victim, Kala Hodgkin, was found unresponsive at a Jamestown address May 11. Police say Burham is the prime suspect in their investigation.
Burham is also wanted in connection with a vehicle fire that happened after Hodgkin was discovered dead. He is also wanted on a warrant for rape.