Manhunt underway after ‘armed and dangerous’ homicide suspects escape custody in Utah

Blane Barksdale (left) and Susan Barksdale (right). Photos Courtesy: Tucson Police Department
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BLANDING, Utah, Aug. 27, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A manhunt is underway after a pair of homicide suspects. considered armed and dangerous, escaped custody in Blanding while being extradited from one state to another.

The Tucson Police Department said in a news release Tuesday afternoon that homicide suspects Blane Barksdale, 56, and Susan Barksdale, 59, have escaped custody while being extradited from Henrietta, New York to Pima County, Arizona.

“During transport Monday evening, Blane and Susan Barksdale overpowered two security officers in Blanding, Utah,” the news release said. “Blane and Susan Barksdale are wanted in connection with the murder of 72-year-old Frank Bligh from April 16, in Tucson, Arizona.” 

Blane and Susan Barksdale are believed to be armed and dangerous and should not be approached, officials said.

The Barksdales’ direction of travel is currently unknown. Investigators have information that they are possibly traveling through Arizona. They were last seen driving a red GMC Sierra pickup truck, with the Arizona license plate 127XTY, with damage to the front passenger side and rear bumper. Blane Barksdale has numerous tattoos on his arms and hands, the news release said.

The FBI, U.S. Marshals and Apache County Sheriff’s Office are assisting in the investigation.

Bligh, whose body has not been found, was reported missing, then on April 16, his home in Tucson caught fire and exploded, according to local news outlets. The next day, his car was found abandoned in Tucson.

The Barksdales were arrested near Rochester, New York in May, on charges of first-degree murder.

If the Barksdales are spotted, please call 911 immediately. Anyone with possible information on their whereabouts is urged to call 911 or call Pima authorities on 520-882-7463.


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