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Tucson Police Department

2 'armed and dangerous' murder suspects escape custody in Utah

By Lauren Bennett, KSL.com | Updated - Aug. 27, 2019 at 4:57 p.m. | Posted - Aug. 27, 2019 at 3:36 p.m.


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BLANDING — Two homicide suspects escaped police custody in Blanding Monday while they were being extradited from New York to Arizona, said police in Tucson, Arizona.

Blane Barksdale, 56, and Susan Barksdale, 59, overpowered two security officers in Blanding Monday evening while they were being transported from Henrietta, New York, to Pima County, Arizona, officials said in a news release.

The pair are wanted in connection to the homicide of 72-year-old Frank Bligh, the release said. Bligh was killed April 16 in Tucson.

The pair are considered “armed and dangerous” by police, who advised the public not to approach either if spotted.

Tucson police officer Francisco Magos said no one was injured during the escape and further details about exactly how they escaped weren’t immediately available.

Blane Barksdale has several tattoos on his arms and hands, the release says, and the two were last seen driving a red GMC Sierra pickup truck with damage to the front passenger side and rear bumper. It has Arizona license plates numbered 127XTY.

The GMC truck wasn’t the vehicle they were transported in, Magos said, and police haven’t confirmed exact details surrounding the duo’s escape.

He added that the main goal of releasing the escape information was informing the public about two dangerous people.

Police don’t know where Blane and Susan Barksdale are traveling, but investigators received information they could possibly be going through Arizona.

The couple was last seen near St. Johns, Arizona Monday on Highway 191, Magos said.

He said police aren’t sure if the duo is in Utah but aren’t ruling that possibility out at this point.

The FBI, U.S. Marshals and Apache County Sheriff’s Office are assisting in the investigation, according to Tucson police.

Anyone who sees the Barksdales is being told to call 911 immediately. If anyone has possible information on their whereabouts, police urged them to call 911 or 88-CRIME.

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Lauren Bennett

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