The mother of a Cumberland man accused of killing three people last week was so concerned about his erratic behavior that she called police two days in a row: first on the day police say he killed an 83-year-old family friend, and a day later when Jeffrey Burnham killed his brother and sister-in-law, according to police charging documents.
The documents do not say what Cumberland police did in response. And they do not make clear whether she called before police say Burnham killed Rebecca Reynolds in Cumberland on Sept. 29, or before he killed Brian Robinette, 58, and his wife, Kelly Sue Robinette, 57, on Sept. 30 in the couple’s Ellicott City home.
But the documents do shed more light on what neighbors and Burnham’s mother called his deteriorating manner, and reveal how Reynolds was killed.
According to charging documents, Evelyn Burnham, 83, called Cumberland City Police because of her son’s “mental stability” after he made statements about the FBI “being after” them both. She told police in one call that her son lived with her and kept a security system in his bedroom at their home, police wrote in the documents.
She called police again Sept. 30, concerned about her son’s talk of “Becky’s car,” referring to Reynolds, a friend of hers since childhood. Police have said Burnham stole Reynolds’ Lincoln and fled to Ellicott City.
Cumberland Police said they could not answer questions about their response to Evelyn Burnham’s 911 calls until Wednesday.
Reynolds was found dead inside her home with a deep laceration across her throat and a pillow over her face, the charging documents said. Police indicated there were signs of a struggle, noting a broken vase, cordless phone and cane on the floor near where Reynolds was found.
Burnham has a bail review hearing scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday in Allegany County, where Reynolds lived. He fled to West Virginia after the homicides, police said, and was extradited Tuesday. Burnham also is expected to be charged in Howard County for the Robinettes’ deaths in Ellicott City, said Howard County Police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn.
Burnham did not have an attorney listed in court records.
Burnham was arrested Oct. 1 by West Virginia State Police at a Davis, West Virginia, motel. Police said he flagged down a firefighter there, and told him he “had been forced to kill three people.”
Evelyn Burnham previously spoke to The Sun, expressing grief.
“I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry,” Evelyn Burnham said. “I lost two boys and a friend and a daughter-in-law.”