Married murder suspects captured in Arizona after weeks on the lam

Cheryl Sanders
September 12, 2019

A pair of 50-plus-year-old married murder suspects were busted in Arizona on Wednesday night after weeks on the lam since escaping police custody in NY, a report said.

Officials with the Navajo County Sheriff's Office in Arizona say the Barksdales were located Wednesday evening and taken into custody without incident.

The married couple accused of killing a 72-year-old man and then escaping as they were being transported from NY to Arizona to face charges has been taken into custody.

A couple suspected of murder in Arizona has been captured after escaping transport from Upstate New York.

Late last month as the couple was being transported back to Arizona, Susan Barksdale faked an illness to get the van they were in to stop, officials have said.

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. "More information about the arrest will be released tomorrow morning during a joint news conference with the US Marshall's".

Police said the Barksdales drove the van to the town of Vernon, Arizona, where they met up with a friend who gave them access to his red GMC pickup truck.

Authorities said earlier this week that the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang, and the Hells Angels motorcycle gang may have been assisting the couple. Police said they may have stolen a cache of almost 100 guns before setting fire to his house, causing an explosion.

'It was compelling enough that they felt the need to pull over, ' David Gonzales, the US marshal for Arizona, said of Susan's so-called medical emergency.

It took the guards two to three hours to break free and they eventually kicked out some windows of the van.

But the Barksdales had fled the state, sparking a nationwide search.

Neither of the guards were hurt, but they were bound with shoelaces, Gonzales said.

The guards, a male and female, were unarmed and didn't feel the need to take a handgun that was inside a locked box when they went to open the rear compartment of the van, authorities say.

In Pima County, the Barksdales are facing charges of first-degree murder, arson, burglary and auto theft.

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