AP

After daring escape, murder suspects may be in Arizona

Aug 28, 2019, 2:43 PM | Updated: 2:43 pm
escape fugitive marshal...
Photo: Tucson Police Department

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Still unaware of how they were able to escape, authorities searched for new leads Wednesday in the manhunt for an Arizona couple who were being extradited across the country to face murder charges.

The U.S. Marshals Service has been poring through dozens of tips since it was reported that Blane Barksdale, 56, and Susan Barksdale, 59, had overpowered guards in a transport vehicle in Utah on Monday.

“We’re getting tips left and right and looking into the validity of each one,” said U.S. Deputy Marshal Michael Adams.

While it wasn’t clear if they had obtained weapons or taken any from the guards, Adams warned the public should consider them armed and dangerous.

The Barksdales were in Blanding, Utah, on Monday night when they somehow overpowered the guards.

Authorities believe they may be driving through Arizona. They were last seen in a Red GMC pickup. Digital signs on highways throughout the state on Wednesday flashed alerts about the outlaw couple.

The fugitives, who were coming from upstate New York, spent Sunday night in a county jail in Monticello, Utah, said San Juan County Sheriff Jason Torgerson. Torgerson didn’t find until hours later about the escape in Blanding, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of the jail. He still doesn’t know exactly where or how it happened, he said.

The news caused some panic in the small city of 3,600 residents that the fugitives were loose in the community. A high school volleyball team sent team members home early Tuesday out of fear, he said.

Torgerson said they’ve since spread the word that the fugitives aren’t likely in Utah anymore, but he’s still asking county residents to be vigilant.

Law enforcement officials in Arizona said they had no details about the escape and referred inquiries to Security Transport Services, based in Topeka, Kansas. When reached by phone, an employee who declined to give her full name said the company expected to get more information from the two guards involved on Thursday.

The various agencies involved, including the FBI, did not disclose whether the couple was restrained during their cross-country transport, why the route from New York passed through rural Utah or how they overtook the guards.

The Barksdales were arrested May 24 near Rochester, New York, on suspicion of first-degree murder and other crimes.

Tucson police say a fire followed by an explosion broke out in April at the home of Frank Bligh. The 72-year-old’s car was found abandoned the next day.

While his body has not been found, investigators say evidence in the car indicated he was likely dead. The Barksdales were later identified as suspects.
___

Associated Press writer Brady McCombs in Salt Lake City contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

Microsoft is cutting 10,000 workers, almost 5% of its workforce, in response to "macroeconomic cond...
MATT O'BRIEN, Associated Press

Job cuts in tech sector spread, Microsoft lays off 10,000

Microsoft said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that had just notified employees of the layoffs, some of which begin immediately.
12 days ago
exxon mobil sign pictured...
SETH BORENSTEIN and CATHY BUSSEWITZ Associated Press

Study: Exxon Mobil accurately predicted warming since 1970s

Exxon said its understanding of climate change evolved over the years and that critics are misunderstanding its earlier research.
18 days ago
FILE - Protesters, supporters of Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro, stand on the roof of the...
The Associated Press

Brazil and Jan. 6 in US: Parallel attacks, but not identical

RIO DE JANIERO, Brazil — Enraged protesters broke into government buildings that are the very symbol of their country’s democracy. Driven by conspiracy theories about their candidate’s loss in the last election, they smashed windows, sifted through the desks of lawmakers and trashed the highest offices in the land in a rampage that lasted hours […]
20 days ago
President Joe Biden pictured...
ZEKE MILLER AP White House Correspondent

DOJ reviewing potentially classified docs at Biden center

Special counsel to the president Richard Sauber said “a small number of documents with classified markings” were discovered at the offices of the Penn Biden Center.
21 days ago
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 06: A poster advertising the launch of Prince Harry's memoir "Spare" is s...
Jill Lawless Associated Press

Prince Harry says explosive book is a bid to ‘own my story’

Prince Harry defended his decision to publish a memoir that lays bare rifts inside Britain’s royal family.
21 days ago
utah capitol, a new bill heading to lawmakers will affect the utah sex offender registry...
HANNAH SCHOENBAUM Associated Press/Report for America

States target transgender health care in first bills of 2023

After a record flow of anti-transgender legislation last year, Republican state lawmakers this year are zeroing in on questions of bodily autonomy.
23 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
After daring escape, murder suspects may be in Arizona