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Prison transport company suspended after escape

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Posted at 5:46 AM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 08:46:54-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Law enforcement officials in Arizona are suspending the use of a prison transport company after the escape of a couple suspected of murder.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday that it will stop using Security Transport Services pending a review. The county has had a contract with the Topeka, Kansas-based company since 2016.

Multiple agencies are searching for 56-year-old Blane Barksdale and 59-year-old Susan Barksdale after they overpowered the company's guards in a transport vehicle Monday in small-town Utah.

They fled and are believed to be in Arizona. Police say they were last seen driving a red GMC Sierra truck.

Investigators say the couple are suspected in the April slaying of a 72-year-old Tucson man.

Sheriff's officials say Security Transport Services has transported roughly 70 inmates this year at a cost of $88,500.