Fugitive murder suspects captured in Arizona: U.S. Marshals Service

Fugitive murder suspects captured in Arizona: U.S. Marshals Service

Once the U.S. Marshals Service tracked down the couple and arrested them in NY, a private security contractor was hired to bring them back to Tucson.

Authorities announced overnight that Blane and Susan Barksdale were arrested in Arizona.

Blane, 56, and Susan, 59, escaped in Utah while being extradited back to Tucson from NY on August 26.

The Barksdales have been charged with first-degree murder by Tucson police in the death of Frank Bligh, 72, who hasn't been seen since fire consumed his home April 16.

'It was compelling enough that they felt the need to pull over, ' David Gonzales, the USA marshal for Arizona, said of Susan's so-called medical emergency.

Blane Barksdale was recently added to the Marshals' 15 Most Wanted list, with a $25,000 reward offered for information that leads to his capture, and $10,000 for Susan Barksdale's arrest.

While in the Blanding, Utah area, the two faked a medical emergency and then overpowered their guards when they stopped the van.

Authorities previously said they believe couple was receiving help - from biker gangs or white supremacist groups - to elude capture.

The Barksdales escaped last month while being transported from NY to Arizona in connection with the murder of 72-year-old Frank Bligh in Phoenix.

They allegedly kidnapped the two guards and third inmate, driving a privately operated prison transport vehicle to Vernon, Ariz., where they obtained a Red GMC Sierra pickup from an acquaintance, KOLD-TV reported. One of the Barksdales drove the truck while the other continued to drive the prison van - until abandoning it in the middle of the high desert, with the three victims still locked inside, Gonzales said.

From there, the Barksdales drove the van into Arizona.

The couple then took off with the little money the guards had in their wallets, and then left behind the guards, who tied up in the back, as well as another prisoner. By the time authorities reached the guards, the couple had been gone for several hours. Police said they may have stolen a cache of almost 100 guns before setting fire to his house, causing an explosion.



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