TUCSON, Az. – A husband and wife who stand accused of murdering an elderly man are on the run after police say they overpowered security officers and escaped custody, according to the Tucson Police Department.

Blane Barksdale, 56, and Susan Barksdale, 59, were being transported from Henrietta, New York to Pima County, Arizona when they staged their escape. According to reports, the pair managed to overpower security officers while in Blanding, Utah and fled.

The couple was being extradited back to Arizona to face charges in the murder of 72-year-old Frank Bligh, who was killed in Tucson in April, sources said. 


A report from CNN noted that the couple was last seen driving a red GMC Sierra pickup with damage to the front passenger side and rear bumper. Blane Barksdale was described as having tattoos on his arms and hands.  

The Barksdales are believed to be armed and extremely dangerous, officials said. Police say that several agencies have been assisting with the investigation, including the FBI, US Marshals and Apache County Sheriff’s Office.

The Tucson Police posted the following notice after the couple escaped custody and fled. 

Authorities say that they are not sure which direction the fugitives would be traveling in, but this is not the first time law enforcement officials have had to hunt them down.

Back in April, police responded to calls of an explosion that had gone off in a Tucson home. When they arrived, they discovered that the fire inside had been set intentionally and the homeowner, Bligh, had been killed. Police said that Bligh’s truck was missing.

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After discovering evidence that pointed toward Blane and Susan Barksdale, a felony arrest warrant was issued for the couple, citing charges of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, arson of an occupied structure, felony criminal damage and theft.

The couple had fled the state and a nationwide manhunt was set in motion to try and bring the accused killers to justice. They were eventually captured in New York on May 24 without incident thanks to “incredible, diligent police work,” Tucson police confirmed.

“This is another example of the excellent cooperation between local law enforcement and our federal partners,” Monroe County Undersheriff Korey K. Brown said back in May. “Two dangerous, violent individuals were taken off the streets and will face justice.”

But now those same individuals are on the run again, and it’s unknown when or where they’ll turn up.


The Tucson Police have said that if the Barksdales are spotted, please call 911 immediately. Anyone with possible information on their whereabouts is urged to call 911 or 88-CRIME.


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