Fugitive nuclear engineer who carjacked woman back in custody
STAFF REPORTS November 1, 2013 11:18AM
Updated: December 3, 2013 6:09AM
A former nuclear plant engineer who vanished more than a year ago after being charged with carjacking a woman in west suburban Woodridge is back in custody.
Michael Buhrman is in federal custody and is expected to be brought back to DuPage County “in the near future,” DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office spokesman Paul Darrah said Friday morning. Details on his capture were not immediately released.
Buhrman, of Downstate Coal City, was convicted in April of aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm even though he had disappeared in September 2012 while free on bond. DuPage County prosecutors thought at the time he may have fled the country.
Burman was subsequently sentenced to 40 years in prison for the carjacking. Upon arrival in DuPage County he will be remanded to the Illinois Department of Corrections to serve his sentence, Darrah said.
Buhrman, wearing a mask, approached a woman sitting in her parked car in a Woodridge parking lot about 9:55 p.m. on May 9, 2012, pointed a loaded .45 caliber handgun at her head and ordered her out of the car, prosecutors said.
Woodridge Police quickly captured Buhrman, still wearing the mask, in a different parking lot with the gun on the passenger’s seat, and arrested him, according to prosecutors.
Buhrman was initially ordered held on a $200,000 bond and outfitted with a GPS monitoring device upon release, the state’s attorney’s office said.
He posted the required 10 percent bail on May 11, 2012, and authorities discovered on Sept. 28, 2012, that he had removed his GPS device and fled.
He vanished after allegedly telling a girlfriend he had collected $100,000 in gold bars and planned to travel to Chile to avoid prosecution, court records show.
Buhrman, a Navy veteran, was working as a nuclear engineer at the Dresden Generating Station near Morris at the time of the carjacking, authorities said.