Married murder suspects from Arizona who escaped custody recaptured

Blane Barksdale, 56, and Susan Barksdale, 59, escaped custody while being extradited back to Arizona. (Source: Tucson Police Department)
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13/Gray News) - The Tucson, Arizona, murder suspects who escaped from custody last month have been captured, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Federal officials confirmed the arrest of Blane and Susan Barksdale in an email late Wednesday night, but no other details were provided, KOLD reports.

According to AZ Family, the Barksdales were found in Tonto Basin, which is northeast of Phoenix. In a Facebook post, the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office said it helped in the arrest.

Blane Barksdale, 56, and Susan Barksdale, 59, escaped custody while being extradited back to Arizona from New York on Aug. 26.

The husband-and-wife team overpowered and kidnapped two security officers and a third inmate near Blanding, Utah. The couple then drove to Vernon, Arizona, where they obtained a Red GMC Sierra pickup truck from an acquaintance. They then abandoned the prisoner van with the three locked inside.

Detectives believe the couple was likely getting help to stay hidden and could be hiding east of Snowflake, Arizona. The Marshals Service said they did not believe the Barksdales made it to Mexico.

The Barksdales have been charged with first-degree murder by the Tucson Police Department in the death of 72-year-old Frank Bligh, who has not been seen since fire consumed his home April 16. Evidence found at Bligh’s residence led detectives to determine the fire was intentionally set.

Detectives also believed more than 100 firearms were stolen from the home, and only around 30 have since been recovered.

Additional evidence uncovered during the investigation led detectives to obtain homicide arrest warrants for the couple. The charges on the warrants include first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, arson of an occupied structure, criminal damage and auto theft.

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