Police still searching for Tucson murder suspects who escaped during extradition

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Tucson Police Department: Blane and Susan Barksdale escaped from a private prisoner transport in Blanding, Utah and then drove to St. Johns, Arizona. The pair is wanted for murder and other charges out of Pima County. 

Staff Reports

BLANDING UTAH – Blane Barksdale, 56, and his wife, Susan Barksdale, 59, are still on the lam after “overpowering” two security officers in Blanding, Utah near the Four Corners region on Monday, Aug. 26, and making their escape. 

The couple was 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. 

The direction of travel is unknown. Police advised the couple is dangerous and shouldn’t be approached. 

Instead, anyone with information is asked to call 911 or 88CRIME, which is an anonymous tip line. 

The FBI, U.S. Marshals, and the Apache County Sheriff’s Office are assisting with the investigation and manhunt. 

The U.S. Marshals are offering a $10,00 reward for each fugitive for information that leads to their capture.