- A dog spotted an escaped prisoner couple on their property.
- Tucker was heartily rewarded with feasts and playing ball since he helped capture the wanted man.
- The couple may even receive a $22,000 reward posted by police for tips on the man’s whereabouts.
Tucker is the chocolate lab mix that very good boy
The 6-year-old dog helped capture an escaped inmate this weekend — and may have earned his proud owners a $22,000 reward in the process.
Ron and Cindy Ecklund were sitting on their patio in Warren County, Pennsylvania, on Saturday when Tucker “suddenly jumped up and ran barking to the lake.”
Cindy and Ron called Tucker back, but strangely, he wouldn’t come.
Ron told Insider that their pup seemed “more aggressive than usual.” They figured it was probably just a fisherman down by the lake, so the couple decided to follow their pooch down to the water, Ron in a golf cart and Cindy on foot.
When they reached the lake, they saw a man’s head pop up over a bank four feet high; he told them he was camping, the couple said.
Cindy Ecklund said she and her husband immediately identified the man as Michael Charles Burham, an escaped inmate being held on kidnapping charges in the Warren County Jail and a suspect in a New York homicide case.
During the week-long hunt for Burham, his picture was all over the news, the couple told Insider.
“My husband said, ‘Get in the golf cart,'” Cindy Ecklund said. The couple called 911 immediately.
Durham escaped from the prison by climbing through the metal grates in the roof of the prison yard and lowering himself using attached bed sheets, NBC News reported, citing authorities. Police swept the area and Durham was arrested in the woods after the tip was found, Fox News reported.
Over the past few days, Tucker has been rewarded handsomely for his excellent guard dog skills, with visitors coming to congratulate him on a job well done.
“He had plenty of treats and actually, one of us already had a balloon drop and a bag full of goodies for him. So yeah, he’s very spoiled since all of this happened,” said Cindy Ecklund.
She also said that everyone who stopped playing with Tucker and his beloved ball: “He was very tuckered out yesterday.”
In addition to capturing a wanted fugitive, Tucker may have earned the Ecklunds a large sum of money. The couple think they are entitled to a $22,000 reward that authorities had offered for tips on Burham’s whereabouts, according to NBC News.
Three agencies contributed to the $22,000 sum – the United States Marshal’s Service, Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers, and Warren County Crime Stoppers – and each generally distributes its share of rewards.
The Warren County District Attorney confirmed to Insider that the Ecklunds will receive $2,000 of the reward from Warren County Crime Stoppers on Tuesday.
And Philip Cornelious of the U.S. Marshals Service said he believes the couple will also receive $10,000 of the reward from his agency.
He said, “We wouldn’t get caught [Burham] when we caught him, no [the Ecklunds]. So I will do everything I can to make sure they get every cent.”
The Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers did not immediately respond to Insider’s request about whether they will distribute their portion of the reward: the remaining $10,000.