1 of 3 suspected murderers who escaped from custody in separate incidents captured

One fugitive, Eric Abril, was taken into custody on Monday.

July 10, 2023, 5:27 PM

Separate manhunts were continuing simultaneously on Monday afternoon for two of three murder suspects who escaped from custody in separate incidents that occurred across the country in a four-day span, authorities said.

One of the fugitives, 35-year-old Eric Abril, suspected in a Northern California hostage-taking homicide and shootout with police, was captured on Monday afternoon just miles from a hospital he escaped from early Sunday, authorities said.

The latest fugitive to escape was identified as Chadwick Shane Mobley, 42, alleged to have absconded from authorities in Montana on Sunday while being taken to Michigan to face charges in the 2011 slaying of a 20-year-old woman, who was found fatally shot in the basement of a relative's home, according to officials.

Employees of a private transport company contracted by the U.S. Marshals Service were driving Mobley from the Lincoln County Jail in Libby, Montana, to Michigan on Sunday when he managed to slip out of his handcuffs and ankle shackles and bolt from custody around 10 a.m. local time at a gas station in Plains, Montana, according to the Sanders County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's officials said Mobley is considered dangerous and warned residents of Plains, a small town of about 1,100 people, to keep the doors of their homes and vehicles locked and to immediately call 911 if they spot the fugitive.

PHOTO: Fugitives, from left, Chadwick Shane Mobley, Eric Abril and Michael Burham.
Fugitives, from left, Chadwick Shane Mobley, Eric Abril and Michael Burham.
Plains Police, Placer County Sheriff, Warren Police Dept.

Mobley was arrested on June 28 in Lincoln County following a nationwide manhunt.

Mobley's escape came just hours after Abril escaped just after 3 a.m. Sunday from a medical facility in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville, where he was supposed to be under 24-hour surveillance, Placer County Sheriff Wayne Woo said at a news conference.

Woo said a sheriff's deputy spotted Abril shortly after he escaped but lost him during a brief foot chase.

Abril, described by authorities as a "very dangerous fugitive," was captured about 12:45 p.m. in a Rocklin, California, residential neighborhood, about 6 miles from the hospital he escaped from, officials said.

"I know there's a lot of questions surrounding this case, specifically, surrounding the circumstances regarding the escape," Woo said. "Quite frankly, I have a lot of questions, as well. I can assure the community that when the time is right there will be a thorough investigation into how this was able to occur and whether there were any policy violations."

Abril was arrested on April 6 after he allegedly shot a California Highway Patrol officer in an ambush while wearing body armor and took two hostages at gunpoint at a park, killing one and wounding the other, according to police. He was arrested when he was injured during a shootout with law enforcement officers, authorities said.

Woo said Abril was taken to the Sutter Roseville Medical Center in Roseville, the facility he escaped from, on Thursday for an undisclosed medical issue.

PHOTO: A search was launched on July 9, 2023, for 35-year-old Eric Abril, a suspected murderer, who authorities said escaped from the Sutter Roseville Medical Center near Roseville, Calif.
A search was launched on July 9, 2023, for 35-year-old Eric Abril, a suspected murderer, who authorities said escaped from the Sutter Roseville Medical Center near Roseville, Calif.
Placer County Sheriff's Office

Abril's escape came as a massive manhunt was already underway for murder suspect Michael Burham more than 2,000 miles away in northern Pennsylvania.

The 34-year-old Burham, a suspect in homicide and rape cases in Jamestown, New York, escaped Thursday night from the Warren County Jail in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.

Burham, who authorities described as a "self-taught survivalist" with military experience, remained on the run Monday.

PHOTO: The Jamestown Police Department released this booking photo of Michael Burham.
The Jamestown Police Department released this booking photo of Michael Burham.
Jamestown Police Department

Army spokesman confirmed to ABC News that Burham served as a water treatment specialist and utilities equipment repairer in the Army Reserve from February 2008 to December 2020. Burham had no deployments and held the rank of Sergeant at the end of service.

Burham was last seen around 11:20 p.m. Thursday wearing an orange-and-white-striped jumpsuit, a denim jacket and a pair of Crocs, state police said.

Burham escaped from the recreation yard by climbing atop exercise equipment and exiting the yard through a metal-grated roof, Warren County spokesperson Cecile Stelter told reporters during a news conference Friday. Burham then used bed sheets tied together to lower himself to the ground and flee on foot, she said.

More than 165 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers are involved in the search for Burham, authorities said.

Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said during a news conference Monday afternoon that the search remains focused on the Northern Pennsylvania, where evidence found at several campsites has been linked to Burham.

Bivens said investigators believe Burham is receiving some kind of external assistance.

“We do believe that he is getting some assistance. From where or what that type of assistance is, I’m not prepared to comment on,” Bivens said.

Pressed by ABC News on whether Burham could have gotten inside help with his escape, Bivins responded, "I can tell you that is being thoroughly investigated."

Residents in and around the city of Warren have been advised by authorities to lock their doors and windows and were warned that Burham should be considered armed and dangerous.

Bivens described Burham as a "self-taught survivalist" who "could be potentially holed up in a wooded area near the city," he said.

Assuming Burham is hiding out in the local woods, Bivens described the plan to continue pushing Burham, increasing his desperation and making him susceptible to capture.

“We continue to make sure that we’re putting pressure on him and we won’t know until we capture him just how close we really are,” Bivens said.

The search is challenging due to the rugged and steep terrain, Bivens said. "It is taking a lot of time and effort to search those areas," he noted.

Burham was arrested on May 24 after leading authorities on a multi-state manhunt. At the time, there were three warrants issued for his arrest, including one stemming from charges he raped and unlawfully imprisoned a woman on March 13 in Jamestown, authorities said.

Burham was previously named a person of interest in the killing of 34-year-old Kala Hodgkin on May 11 in Jamestown, police said. Amid the latest manhunt, Jamestown police are now referring to Burham as a suspect in that case.

During the previous manhunt, Burham allegedly kidnapped an elderly couple at gunpoint on May 20 in Sheffield, Pennsylvania, and drove them to North Charleston, South Carolina, where he was arrested, according to the FBI.

In the new search for Burham, a $9,500 reward is being offered for information that leads to his apprehension, state police said.

Stelter told ABC News that in the previous manhunt, Burham lived in the woods for multiple days, demonstrating his survivalist abilities.

ABC News' Peter Charalambous and Luis Martinez contributed to this report.