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Couple Suspected in Murder Escape During Extradition

Blane, Susan Barksdale are possibly driving through Arizona
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 27, 2019 4:44 PM CDT
The couple's mugshots.   (Police via KOLD-13)

(Newser) – A couple suspected in a Tucson murder have escaped after overpowering two security guards while being extradited from New York to Arizona, authorities said Tuesday. Tucson police said Blane Barksdale, 56, and his 59-year-old wife Susan Barksdale escaped Monday evening in Blanding, Utah, south of Moab, the AP reports. They were last seen in a pickup truck with an Arizona license plate and possibly driving through Arizona, according to police who said the couple was believed to be armed and dangerous. The two were arrested May 24 in Henrietta, New York, in connection with the murder the previous month of Frank Bligh, 72, in Tucson.

The Barksdales were being extradited to Arizona's Pima County where authorities said the two were facing charges of first-degree murder, burglary, arson, felony criminal damage and auto theft. The FBI, US Marshals Service, and Apache County Sheriff's Office are assisting in the investigation. Bligh was last seen at a Tucson bar one week before an April 16 arson fire at his Tucson home, police said. They said Bligh's missing car was later found and evidence inside led detectives to determine that he was dead. The Barksdales' nephew was arrested in April on an arson charge connected to the case, KOLD-13 reports.

(Read more escaped criminal stories.)

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