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Family is eager to see manhunt end

August 05, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - As the manhunt for suspected killer Curtis Eugene Burkett enters its second week, the sister of his dead wife said both sides of the family are eager to see it end.

"The only thing we'd like is, if he is still out there, is turn himself in and give the families peace of mind," said Candy Burkett, the sister of Cathy Burkett, who was found shot to death in her Garnes Road home in Montgomery Township on July 28. Candy Burkett is married to Curtis Burkett's brother, Jeffrey.

"It's very hard on both families. We don't want any hard feelings with either family," Candy Burkett said Friday. "In our minds, it's one big family."

Curtis Burkett, 41, of Mercersburg, Pa., is charged with two counts of criminal homicide in the deaths of his 39-year-old wife and William Zimmerman, 50, his neighbor at the Longview Campground. Pennsylvania State Police said Cathy Burkett was shot several times in her home while Zimmerman was shot once in the chest as he sat in the cab of a pickup truck.

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Witnesses identified Burkett as the shooter in Zimmerman's killing and .30-30 Winchester shell casings were found at both scenes, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

On Thursday, police issued an updated press release on Burkett stating that his camouflaged 1980s Ford F-150 pickup truck could have been repainted since the killings. Trooper Bradley Ford said police had no other reason to believe that other than Burkett being able to do the job himself.

"He's very good at it. He's the one that camoed it in the first place," Ford said.

Information that the driver's side mirror of the truck might be broken came from a family member Cpl. Gary Carter said.

Carter said state police in Franklin County were working with law enforcement agencies in Maryland and West Virginia and the counties to the west of Franklin because Burkett is an avid hunter and those areas could provide ample places for an experienced outdoorsman to hide.

"I wouldn't say we've gotten tips" from other states, Carter said. "We've gotten some calls."

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