Published: Thu, September 12, 2019

Husband-and-wife murder suspects captured after escape

Husband-and-wife murder suspects captured after escape

A law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told NBC News on Wednesday night that the pair was taken into custody south of Payson, Arizona, in an area known as Tonto Basin.

The U.S. Marshals Service said Blane and Susan Barksdale were back in custody, but gave no other details.

Blane, 56, and Susan Barksdale, 59, were recaptured on Thursday after they are said to have faked an "intestinal issue" medical emergency so they could escape after their van departed from Blanding on August 26. They allegedly killed Bligh and burned down his home, then fled to Upstate New York in an RV. "The Navajo County Sheriff's Office assisted the US Marshall's Service in capturing the fugitives this evening".

The couple, suspected of killing a 72-year-old Tucson man and burning down his house, was captured after the marshals placed Blane Barksdale on its Top 15 Most Wanted list Monday, offering $35,000 in rewards for information leading to the arrest of both suspects.

Susan Barksdale feigned an illness to get the van they were in to stop as they were being extradited to Arizona, and when the vehicle pulled over near Blanding, Utah, they overpowered the two guards when they opened the rear doors, us marshal for Arizona David Gonzales has told the Associated Press.

Authorities believe they had help from Blane Barksdale's ties to white supremacist gangs along the way.

Blane Barksdale, and Susan Barksdale
Blane Barksdale, and Susan Barksdale

In April, police responded to a fire that ledto an explosion at Vietnam veteran Frank Bligh's home.

Last month's transport of the two accused killers was being conducted by a private company, STS.

The Barksdales took the van and headed for Vernon, Ariz., a town so small it doesn't have a police force. After ditching the van, the couple drove off in the pickup truck, according to Gonzales. By the time authorities reached the guards, the couple had been gone for several hours.

The male and female guards weren't physically injured but the Barksdales used shoelaces to bind them and then put them in the back of the van with a third inmate, authorities say.

The Barksdales were being extradited from upstate NY, where they were arrested in May.


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