Contributed Photo/Courtesy Tucson Police Department: Espaped murder suspects Blane and Susan Barksdale were captured late Wednesday night. The pair is wanted for murder and other charges out of Pima County.
By Jon Johnson
GILA COUNTY – The nearly three-week manhunt for Blane and Susan Barksdale ended late Wednesday night when the couple was captured hiding in a residence in the Tonto National Forest.
According to a news release, the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the arrest.
Recently, Blane Barksdale, 56, was placed on the FBI’s 15 Most Wanted List and the reward for his capture was increased to $25,000. The reward for Susan, 59, was $10,000, and the U.S. Marshals added another reward of $5,000 for the stolen red truck they took during their escape.
The couple escaped Aug. 26 being extradited from New York back to Tucson to face charges of first-degree murder, burglary, arson, criminal damage, and theft of means of transportation.
According to a Tucson Police Department press release, the couple was being extradited for the killing of Frank Bligh, 72.
Police believe the Barksdales murdered Bligh, set a fire at his residence on April 16 and then stole his car. Bligh’s body is yet to be found and he hasn’t been seen or heard from since April 7.
According to the release, the Barksdales drove the transport van to St. Johns and then stole a red, GMC Sierra pickup truck with an Arizona license plate: 127XTY. The truck had noticeable damage on its front passenger side and rear bumper.