Tucson, Arizona, murder suspects who escaped from custody more than two weeks ago on Aug. 27 have been recaptured. Federal officials confirmed their arrest in an email late Wednesday night, Sept. 11, but no other details were provided, according to AZ Family.
Blane Barksdale, 56, and Susan Barksdale, 59, were found in Tonto Basin, northeast of Phoenix. The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post that it assisted the U.S. Marshal’s Service in capturing the fugitives Wednesday evening and the Barksdales were taken into custody without incident.
The Barksdales arrested May 24 near Rochester, New York, on suspicion of first-degree murder by the Tucson Police Department in the death of Frank Bligh, 72, who has not been seen since fire consumed his home on April 16. Evidence found at Bligh’s residence led detectives to determine the fire was intentionally set. The Barksdales were later identified as suspects.
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.
Blane and Susan Barksdale escaped custody while being extradited back to Arizona from New York, on Aug. 26. The Marshals Service said Susan Barksdale pretended to have an “intestinal issue” while riding in the van near Blanding, Utah. The couple overpowered two guards, tied them up, and put them in the back of the van with a third prisoner, who wasn’t involved.
The couple drove to Vernon, Arizona, where they got a Red GMC Sierra pickup truck from an acquaintance, leaving the van with the guards and other inmate locked inside, the Marshals Service said.
Detectives believe the couple was likely getting help to stay hidden and could have been hiding east of Snowflake.
Authorities say more information about the arrest will be released Thursday morning, Sept.12 during a joint news conference with the US Marshal’s.