Ron and Cindy Ecklund were enjoying a Saturday afternoon in their backyard when their dog, a chocolate Labrador mix named Tucker, began barking.
"Usually if I call him he comes right back to the house," Ron Ecklund described to ABC News. "He wouldn't, so I said, 'Cindy, let's get on the golf cart.'"
Off they went into their backyard, expecting to find a fisherman or a hiker near the creek on their property. Instead, the couple came face-to-face with Michael Burham, who had escaped from a local prison over a week ago.
"Suddenly, this person stands up, and it's Michael - I recognize him right away," Ron Ecklund said, noticing Burham's tattoos, which had been featured in recent news reports.
Burham escaped from the Warren County Prison in Pennsylvania on July 6, using a rope fashioned from bed sheets to descend from the roof of the prison. In the following eight days, the high-profile fugitive held the town of Warren on edge, with daily press conferences reminding residents not to approach the dangerous fugitive, who police warned might be armed.
A fan of tennis balls and birds, Tucker generally loves people, though "he knew something was going on" when he discovered Burham, according to Cindy Ecklund.
When confronted by the Ecklunds, Burham claimed that he was "camping" in the couple's backyard.
"I thought he was gone. I never thought he was in the backyard," Ron Ecklund said in an interview with ABC affiliate WJET.
Returning to his home, Ecklund called police around 3:57 p.m. on Friday, according to Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens. Police eventually tracked Burham to a nearby road, where he was arrested at gunpoint by officers from the U.S. Marshalls, Customs and Border Protection, and NY State Police, according to Bivens.
For their role in the arrest, Crime Stoppers plans to award the couple and their loyal chocolate Labrador mix $2,000 in cash, according to Warren County District Attorney Rob Greene.
Cindy Ecklund said that for his role in the arrest, Tucker -- a six-year-old chocolate Labrador and Chesapeake Bay retriever -- is being rewarded with a steak dinner tomorrow. "He has been eating very well," she added.
While the $2,000 could purchase over 13,000 Milk-Bone dog biscuits, Cindy Ecklund said they plan to use their reward to improve their water well, or improve their home's siding if they receive the full reward of over $20,000.