Tucson murder suspects found hiding out in northern Arizona

Blane and Susan Barksdale were on the run since Aug. 26

UPDATE: Tucson murder suspects found hiding out in northern Arizona

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Tucson murder suspects who escaped from custody in August have been captured.

The U.S. Marshals Service said Blane and Susan Barksdale were arrested late Wednesday, Sept. 11, at a home in the Punkin Center, which is located in the Tonto Basin in Gila County, about 90 miles northeast of Phoenix.

The Marshal Service said a tip led authorities to the duo.

The home belongs to an acquaintance of the Barksdales and that person has several drug convictions, according of federal officials.

Authorities said they surrounded the home and called for the Barksdales to come outside. The home owner, who has not been identified, came out first. Susan Barksdale came out next and was crying, according to federal officials.

About 10-15 minutes later, Blane Barksdale left the home. He became uncooperative and was tased before being taken into custody.

You can watch his arrest and tasing below.

Arrest of Blane Barksdale (Source: Department of Public Safety)

A federal official said while being booked, Blane Barksdale told marshals, “Listen, be careful. It’s a dangerous out there.”

The Barksdales were extradited to Tucson Thursday afternoon. A federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution was dropped. A kidnapping investigation in connection with the escape is ongoing, according to an FBI spokesman.

Barksdales back in custody

WATCH: Authorities discuss arrest of Tucson murder suspects Blane and Susan Barksdale >> https://tucsonne.ws/2kczbg7

Posted by KOLD News 13 on Thursday, September 12, 2019

Both were in federal court for a very short amount of time Thursday. Blane Barksdale did not show emotion during the hearing while Susan Barksdale looked nervous and was crying.

The two were taken to the Pima County Jail and will face state charges of first-degree murder, burglary, arson of an occupied structure, criminal damage and auto theft. Both are being held on a $1 million bond and their next court appearance is set for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19.

The Barksdales’ tale became a national story on Aug. 26, when they escaped custody while being brought to Arizona from New York.

The husband-and-wife team overpowered and kidnapped two security officers and a third inmate near Blanding, Utah. They then drove to Vernon, Ariz., where they obtained a Red GMC Sierra pickup truck from an acquaintance. They abandoned the prisoner van with the three locked inside.

Detectives have said the couple was getting help to stay hidden. On Thursday, authorities said they are looking for three to four people who may have been helping the Barksdales. Also, the red truck is still missing.

The Barksdales were charged with first-degree murder in the death of Frank Bligh, 72, who has not been seen since fire consumed his home April 16. Evidence found at Bligh’s residence led detectives to determine the fire was intentionally set.

Detectives also believed more than 100 firearms were stolen from the home and only around 30 have since been recovered.

Additional evidence uncovered during the investigation led detectives to obtain homicide arrest warrants for the couple. The charges on the warrants include first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, arson of an occupied structure, criminal damage and auto theft.

The Barksdales were located May 23 in New York shortly after Susan Barksdale pawned some property at a New Jersey pawn shop, according to court documents.

RAW VIDEO: Arrest of Tucson murder suspect Blane and Susan Barksdale

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