‘It’s been a year already’: Family, friends hold vigil for Kalamae Hodgkin

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WIVB) — A candlelight vigil was held tonight for 34-year-old mother of three, Kalamae Hodgkin, who was a victim of a homicide that occurred on May 11 in her Jamestown home last spring.

Hodgkin’s family and friends gathered for a memorial service filled with remembrance and a call for justice.

“Her memory is still there in the back of your head, like there’s nothing you can really do about it,” Kirra Hodgkin, Kalamae’s daughter, said.

At the time Hodgkin was killed, the suspect, Michael Burham, had an active arrest warrant charging him with Hodgkin’s rape.

Michael Burham Manhunt

Hodgkin’s best friend, Ashley Hallett, said she was going through a similar situation, but was able to get the person she felt endangered by arrested and sent to court before the worst happened.

“She asked me what I was doing, and I told her,” Hallett said. “She started breaking down because she is not strong enough and obviously, we see it now.”

“She can help everybody else, but she wasn’t strong enough to do it for herself,” Ann Overturf, Hodgkin’s mother, said.

Burham has yet to be charged in New York State for his alleged role in Hodgkin’s death. This past November, he pleaded guilty to charges he was facing in Pennsylvania. 

He received the maximum sentence in connection to a kidnapping of a Sheffield, Pa, couple in the days following Hodgkin’s death and for his escape from the Warren County Jail, which sparked a day-10 manhunt.

Hodgkin’s family said even though Burham is behind bars, they are disappointed that charges have yet to be filed in relation to her murder.

“No justice yet, I have not seen nothing and I’m hearing about charges are being lessened and the reason for the charges that started everything — other women have gone through domestic rape and all that, and they’re trying to sweep it under the rugs now, and that’s the whole reason everything happened. Everything happened because of that,” Overturf said.

Burham is currently still being held in Pennsylvania.

Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt said he does not have an update to the case at this time. He said he is actively working on the investigation and should be able to provide a public update in the near future.

“He needs to pay for what he’s done,” Therasa Shaw, Hodkin’s aunt, said. “Something needs to be done shortly, I mean, it’s been a year already.”

“If you are in any kind of danger, if someone threatens you, take it seriously,” Overturf said. “If you have small children, get a living will so you know where to place your children if something were to happen to you.” 

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Dillon Morello is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has been part of the News 4 team since September of 2023. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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