December 29, 2010
Authorities are on the hunt for a person they call a violent sexual predator who escaped from the Larned State Mental Facility late Wednesday. He is identified as 41-year-old Bruce Franklin Burns.
Burns was ordered to Larned after serving sentences for two convictions out of Wyandotte County for aggravated indecent liberties and aggravated criminal sodomy. Both charges involved a child under the age of 14.
He was paroled in 2008, but under Kansas law, authorities can order convicted felons to Larned indefinitely if they are considered violent sexual predators. Burns had been at Larned since February, 2009, SRS Spokesman Steve Mock said from his Topeka office. Attempts to interview the superintendent of the facility were denied.
Staff at the facility were notified of a hole that had been cut in the fence at about 5:00 PM Wednesday evening, Mock said. Local authorities identified that Burns was missing and began an all night search that lasted into the morning hours on Thursday.
Back in town, Larned resident Linda Hampton has lived in the Pawnee County town for 40 years. Hampton says there aren't enough measures in place to notify the public when an escape happens.
"I really feel Larned needs to have an alarm system or something to let residents know when this happens so we can keep our children indoors and lock our doors," Hampton said.
Hampton said she didn't find out about the escape until the next morning through media reports. At the very least, residents would be notified to keep an eye out, Hampton said.
If you see Burns, you are asked to call 911. Do not approach him, as he is considered dangerous.