Tonto Basin reacts to Barksdales capture

Neighbors were unaware of fugitive couple hiding in their community

Small town makes big headlines

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Hidden in the tiny town of Tonto Basin is the Punkin Village Center.

The neighborhood, northeast of Phoenix, was also the most recent and last hiding place for Blane and Susan Barksdale.

“We kinda figured that, they only bring people, this many cops out when there’s a kidnapping or murder suspect someplace, you know?” said a longtime resident Thursday, Sept. 12.

[ Tucson murder suspects found hiding in northern Arizona ]

That resident was right. The usually quiet community was kept awake Wednesday night when more than 50 officers from multiple agencies swarmed the home where the fugitive couple, wanted for murder in Tucson, were holed up.

“They came from every direction, there had to be 40, probably 40 unmarked police vehicles," Bradley Hill told our affiliate, azfamily.

The U.S. Marshals Service said the homeowner and Susan surrendered quickly and peacefully to authorities, but Blane initially refused to come out of the residence.

[ Barksdales back in custody ]

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

“Just come out of the house. Come on out of the house," is what one neighbor heard.

About 10-15 minutes later, Blane left the home. USMS said he became uncooperative and began ignoring officer’s commands. ‘Less-than-lethal’ means were deployed and the one of the USMS’ Most Wanted Fugitives was taken into custody.

Neighbors said they had no idea the fugitive couple had taken cover in their small town.

[ Barksdales escape custody ]

“I had no idea, if I would have known that, my kids wouldn’t have been let outside,” Hill said.

“I don’t know if any, anybody knew that they were here and gosh it could have been so much worse than it was, so just thank god nobody was hurt,” a woman who lived in the area said.

The Barksdales were extradited to Tucson on Thursday afternoon. A federal complaint of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution was dropped.

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.

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