Fugitive Couple Accused Of Murder Are Caught After Weeks On The Run

Adjust Comment Print

They were in transit back to their home state from upstate NY when they overpowered two security officers in Blanding, Utah.

The Marshals Service said Susan Barksdale faked a medical emergency while riding in the van near Blanding, Utah. "More information about the arrest will be released tomorrow morning during a joint news conference with the US Marshall's".

The Navajo County, Arizona, sheriff's office said in a statement that the Barksdales were arrested without incident and that the sheriff's office assisted the marshals service in the capture.

Blane Barksdale was described as having Nazi swastika tattoos and the couple were said to be associated with white supremacy groups, and members of such groups may have been helping them hide out, officials said.

Blane Barksdale, 56, and wife Susan Barkdale, 59, escaped custody August 26 while they were being extradited from NY to Arizona in the alleged first-degree murder of Frank Bligh, 72, according to US Marshals.

Popeyes solution to the chicken sandwich shortage? Bring your own bread
However, they are working to bring back the championed Popeyes chicken sandwich soon. Lines wrapped outside some Popeyes Chicken restaurants.

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. 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. After ditching the van, the couple drove off in the pickup truck, according to Gonzales.

After several hours, the trio managed to break free.

But the Barksdales had fled the state, sparking a nationwide search. In Blanding, a town of about 3,600, authorities were so anxious that the local high school volleyball team was sent home early, the sheriff told the Associated Press. They then abandoned the van with the three locked inside and somehow evaded a sweeping manhunt conducted by multiple agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the report said.

CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO-TV, citing Marshals Service sources, reports the Barksdales were found in Tonto Basin, northeast of Phoenix. They don't think the couple made it to Mexico, KOLD says.

The marshals have not revealed what led them to the couple. Blane Barksdale's nephew, Brent Mallard, 31, was also charged with arson in that case and remains in custody in Pima County.