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Murder suspects on the run: New charges against fugitive couple

Federal charges against Blane and Susan Barksdale
Posted at 6:44 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 21:44:53-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Husband and wife murder suspects have been on the run almost five - full days. And now the pair are facing new federal charges.

Blane and Susan Barksdale were being extradited from New York to Pima County to face charges in the murder of a Tucson man.

New Federal charges of flight to avoid prosecution say after Tucson Police questioned Blane and Susan Barksdale in April about the disappearance of Frank Bligh and the arson of his house, they changed the registration of an RV to a family associate, and said they were going to Missouri. They did more than that.

Investigators say they pawned some property in New Jersey, and ended up in a small town in upstate New York. There, U.S. Marshals and a SWAT team picked them up on the basis of these arrest warrants.

They spent almost two months jailed in New York before they were turned over to a private transport company for extradition to Pima County.

U.S. Marshal David Gonzales says in Utah, about four days into the trip Susan Barksdale faked a medical emergency. The guards stopped. The Barksdales attacked and tied them up. They put the guards in the van's holding cell and drove to a remote part of Apache County, Arizona

"They met an acquaintance that they'd known, the Barksdales had known for awhile, borrowed his truck from him and dumped the van with the guards in the back, still, out in the sticks."

It took hours for the guards to break out of the van and report the escape. There was another prisoner in the van. He did not join in the escape.

Marshal Gonzales says the Barksdales are very dangerous. The New York Times quoted a different official with the Marshals as saying as many as a hundred guns are missing from Frank Bligh's house and the Barksdales may have them stashed somewhere.

Gonzales says roughly 50 officers, agents and deputies are searching for the couple and the Barksdale’s time is running out.

"We're gonna arrest you. We're gonna find you whether it's ten minutes from now or ten days from now but it's gonna happen."