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Tucson murder suspects escape while being extradited to Pima County

TUCSON –Two Tucson murder suspects escaped from a van while being extradited from Henrietta, NY to Pima County, according to Tucson Police Department.

Officials say Blane, 56, and Susan Barksdale, 59, “overpowered” two security officers with Security Transport Services (STS) and took possession of the van in Blanding, Utah.

Investigators say they have information that the couple is possibly traveling through Arizona. They were last seen driving a red GMC Sierra pickup with Arizona license plate: 127XTY. Police say the vehicle has damage to the front passenger side and rear bumper.

Both are facing first-degree murder, burglary and arson charges for the death of 72-year-old Frank Bligh.

Officials said the van was found north of St. Johns. The Barksdales’ direction of travel is unknown, police say.

The suspects are believed to be armed and dangerous and should not be approached, police say.

Tucson Police Department located Brent Mallard, the couple’s nephew, in Maricopa County and took him into custody on charges including arson, second-degree burglary and felony criminal damages.

Blane Barksdale, Susan Barksdale, and Brent Mallard,/ Tucson Police Department

RELATED: Police: 2 arrested for murder, suspicious east side home fire

Anyone with information is urged o call 911 or 88-CRIME.


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Julia Leon

Julia is a Digital Content Producer for KVOA- News 4 Tucson. In 2018, she earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in journalism from the University of Arizona.

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