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Crime Trackers: Fugitive couple wanted for murder, arson is arrested in New York

TUCSON – The fugitive couple wanted for murder and arson is now behind bars. Tucson Police Department said 55-year-old Blane Barksdale and his 58-year-old wife, Susan Barksdale were arrested Friday morning in Henrietta New York.
Blane Barksdale, Susan Barksdale, and Brent Mallard,/ Tucson Police Department
According to Charles Salina, U.S. Marshal, they received a call from their counterparts in Tucson on Thursday night. “They sent us a photo of the vehicle and photos of the two fugitives,” Salina said. Undersheriff Korey Brown said the license plate on the RV the couple were driving alerted Tucson authorities. The couple also used a credit card in Henrietta.
Tucson Police Department
It just so happened their fugitive task force was in the area. Brown said because the couple was armed and considered dangerous, they called the SWAT team. Authorities in New York said it was a joint effort and the different agencies communicating with each other is what made the arrests a success. They were able to get the murder suspects off the streets. The couple is charged with the death of 72-year-old Frank Bligh.  Tucson police said on April 16, Tucson Fire responded to his house in 3500 block of South Calexico. Fire officials said the blaze caused a large section of the roof to collapse. They said the cause was arson. Initially, Bligh could not be located, his car was missing. The following day, Pima County Sheriff’s Department found the vehicle. TPD detectives searched it and suspected foul play. Their investigation also led them to Brent Mallard in Maricopa County. They arrested him and brought him to Tucson. He is charged with second-degree burglary and felony criminal damages. He was said to be related to the Barksdale’s. The couple is each charged with first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, arson, felony criminal damage and auto theft. Tucson police are scheduled to go to New York and search the RV the couple was in. No word on when the Barksdale’s will return to Tucson.
Lupita Murillo

Lupita Murillo

Lupita Murillo is an investigative reporter. She is part of the Digging Deeper team that uncovers important issues focusing on crime that affects the community.
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