CLOSE

The US Marshals Service put fugitive homicide suspect Blane Barksdale on its high 15 most wished record and upped the reward for data main on to his arrest to $25,000. Barksdale and his spouse escaped from custody in Utah final month. (Sept. 10)
AP, AP

PHOENIX – Two days after homicide suspect Blane Barksdale was named one of many nation’s most wished fugitives, he and his wife were taken into custody with out incident in Arizona.

The Navajo County Sheriff’s Workplace introduced late Wednesday that it had assisted the U.S. Marshals Service in finding and arresting the Barksdales.

Authorities didn’t specify the place they caught Blane Barksdale, 56, and his spouse, Susan, 59. They had been on the run since Aug. 26, once they commandeered a jail transport van in Utah and escaped into rural Arizona.

An intense seek for the couple had been underway within the county, which runs from the Utah state line south in a slim strip to the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

The Barksdales are suspects within the dying of Frank Bligh, a 72-year-old Tucson man who has been lacking since April.

The couple was being transported from New York state to Tucson once they overpowered their guards and escaped custody. They deserted the van, with the guards and one other prisoner certain inside east of Navajo County in Apache County, in line with officers.

That they had been final seen driving a pink GMC Sierra truck with an Arizona license plate and harm on its entrance passenger facet and rear bumper. 

The U.S. Marshals Service supplied no extra particulars Wednesday night time, and a information convention was deliberate Thursday morning in Phoenix. 

On Monday, Blane Barksdale was elevated to the U.S. Marshals Service’s 15 Most Wished Checklist, with the reward for data resulting in his seize raised to $25,000.

A reward for data resulting in the seize of Susan Barksdale was set at $10,000, and as much as $5,000 was supplied for data resulting in the pink pickup.

Residents Wednesday night time rapidly started posting their thanks and aid on the Navajo County Sheriff’s Workplace web site. The seek for the couple had sparked concern amongst residents all through the world. 

Locals stated there have been 1,000,000 locations they might have laid low amongst a labyrinth of dead-end roads, cattle ranches, trailers and bushy juniper timber within the high-desert backcountry of northeastern Arizona.

The couple and the pink pickup appeared to have vanished into the teardrop-shaped expanse between Snowflake, Concho and Present Low.

“Who is aware of the place they could possibly be?” stated Verlinda Adams, 65, simply hours earlier than the Barksdales had been caught.

“There’s a lot forest across the Rim Nation … and there is so many roads,” Adams added, as she ate lunch at a restaurant in Taylor, not removed from the world the marshals and deputies repeatedly had combed.

Autoplay

Present Thumbnails

Present Captions

Navajo County Sheriff David Clouse stated he reduce his enamel as a younger deputy on the rutted, gravel paths east of Snowflake. The routes result in survivalist compounds, household cabins, drug dens, horse properties, looking grounds or typically nowhere in any respect.

“Some describe it as No Man’s Land,” he stated. “However that is our yard, and we’re very accustomed to it.”

A typical patrol by way of the world may take hours from finish to finish, he stated — not to mention a manhunt for a pair assisted by a neighborhood legal community in a territory the place legislation enforcement cellphones and radios did not all the time work, Clouse stated.

“It is so distant, it is onerous to make contact. So we’re providing our information of the roads, the individuals and the native lay of the land,” Clouse stated earlier than the arrests. “(The Barksdales) might have pushed down their actual street, and so they’ll by no means realize it as a result of there’s so many timber and their homes are set again to this point. … Your city searches are a lot simpler.”

Authorities searched by air and land for any signal of the couple or pickup, made warrant sweeps, property searches and arrests, Arizona U.S. Marshal David Gonzales stated.

“(We had been) beating the bushes,” he stated. “Nothing was popping.”

To make sure authorities did not undergo from tunnel imaginative and prescient, they expanded the search from California to Texas in latest days.

One of many first locations legislation enforcement swarmed was the property the Barksdales personal close to Vernon, about 20 miles east of Present Low, in line with neighbor Joe Ferreira.

A SWAT crew stormed the property a month in the past or extra, Ferreira estimated, a while earlier than the couple hijacked the van.

A white RV and plywood lean-to sat nestled on their land Wednesday in opposition to a hill overlooking Apache-Sitgreaves Nationwide Forest. The couple bought the property in August 2018, county information confirmed.

Ferreira, 64, a neighborhood chef who raises chickens and geese three doorways down, joked having a neighbor on the FBI’s “Prime 15 Most Wished” record was “completely different.”

Usually, the small clump of properties is quiet and peaceable, he stated. Wind chimes and some canine barking had been the one sounds Wednesday afternoon. Violet and yellow wildflowers nodded within the breeze. “No Trespassing” indicators stood beside each driveway.

“That is what it is about: Do your personal factor,” Ferreira stated.

The manhunt added some worries, he admitted.

“How are you going to not? You get a bit of nervous about it.” Each time a automobile drives by, Ferreira stated, “We stick our nostril within the window.” 

Reporter Robert Anglen contributed to this text.

Comply with reporters Chelsea Curtis and Rebekah L. Sanders on Twitter @curtis_chels and @RebekahLSanders

Learn or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/information/nation/2019/09/12/blane-barksdale-susan-barksdale-fugitive-couple-arizona-arrested/2297603001/