YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Police often say they depend on the public for tips and information to solve crimes and catch those responsible. One man did just that, saying he couldn’t ignore what he saw. It helped law enforcement catch a man accused of stabbing a child to death.
As Keith Burley awaits an extradition hearing Thursday morning, we’re learning more about what led up to his arrest Tuesday.
“I seen him and his stature. His beard, everything resembles a friend of mine,” the 911 caller told us.
A local man who asked to remain anonymous claims to have spotted Burley walking near Erie and Warren on Youngstown’s south side early Tuesday.
A short time later, he realized who he had seen.
“I was sitting with a friend on Facebook and I see you guys’ post of the guy they were looking for that just killed a child and I told my girl, ‘I’m 100% that’s him.'”
That prompted a call to police.
911 call: “I think the guy that did it, I think he’s walking up Market Street in Youngstown on the north side by — he just passed ABC Fire Extinguisher.”
Just about an hour later, surveillance video from a business on Market Street caught Burley, who was still walking. U.S. Marshals had already been alerted to be looking for him.
Minutes later, Burley was in custody.
The 911 caller, who said he has several children himself, called the stabbing death of 8-year-old Mark Edward Mason Monday night “appalling.” He said he simply couldn’t let it go.
“I wanted to make sure I did my duty as a father and, you know, as part of any community to get someone dangerous like that off the street.”
He said he wants to set a good example and not let violence against children go unstopped.
There will be a candlelight vigil and balloon release to honor Mason’s life Monday at 7 p.m. at Elhans Restaurant on E. Washington Street in New Castle. The little boy’s uncle owns the restaurant. Organizers ask that you bring your own candles and balloons.