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Carjacking suspect has disappeared

Buhrman’s tracking device removed, left behind in home

Published: Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 6:47 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Herald Photo by Jessica Shumaker)
An Illinois State Police dog was called to Coal City Friday afternoon to search the area around the home of Michael Buhrman, a carjacking suspect who disappeared from the residence without his court-ordered GPS tracking device.

COAL CITY — Local authorities are investigating the Friday disappearance of a Coal City man on home confinement as he awaited trial for aggravated carjacking with a firearm.

According to Coal City Police Chief Tom Best, after receiving a call at about 3 p.m. Friday, Coal City Police Department officers and an Illinois State Police trooper with a police dog arrived at the home of Michael Buhrman, 31, at 500 Barber Street.

Best said at the home that officers found Buhrman’s court-ordered GPS-monitoring ankle bracelet, but not Buhrman. A no-bond warrant has been issued for Buhrman, but his possible whereabouts were not immediately known.

As crime scene personnel investigated evidence inside his home, other law enforcement officers walked the dog around Buhrman’s backyard and a wooded area near his home.

Police are also investigating the timeframe of Buhrman’s disappearance.

He reportedly last spoke with his girlfriend Thursday night, and a neighbor spotted his backdoor open at about 6:30 a.m. Friday, but did not make a report with police. Best said the tampering alarm for Buhrman’s ankle bracelet reportedly went off in the afternoon, but Coal City police were not notified immediately by DuPage County officials, where his case is based.

According to police reports, Buhrman was arrested May 9 by Woodridge police after they said he approached a woman in a Kohl’s parking lot, pointed a .45-caliber handgun at her, ordered her out of the vehicle, and drove off with her car. Buhrman was, at the time of his arrest, a Dresden Generating Station employee.

Buhrman has pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated vehicle hijacking with a firearm, vehicular hijacking, and two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

In July, he was placed on home confinement and ordered to wear the ankle bracelet after the DuPage County prosecutors sought to raise his bond from $200,000 to $1 million. According to court records, the motion for increased bail was filed July 9 after prosecutors learned Buhrman allegedly had plans to flee the country to Chile and had told another person he had access to a private jet, money in off-shore bank accounts, and had recently purchased $100,000 in gold.

Instead of changing Buhrman’s bail, the judge ordered Buhrman be placed under home confinement and GPS monitoring. Under the terms of confinement, he was only allowed to leave his home to seek employment or attend court dates and doctors’ appointments, and he was not allowed within five miles of an airport.

Best said law enforcement will be conducting interviews with those who have spoken with Buhrman in the last week, and will likely hand off the case to DuPage County investigators if no new evidence is found.

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