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Police searching for ‘armed and dangerous’ murder suspects who escaped in southern Utah

Left: Blane Barksdale. Right: Susan Barksdale
Tucson Police Department

BLANDING, San Juan County — Police are looking for a man and woman suspected of murder who escaped from custody Monday evening while traveling through southern Utah.

Blane Barksdale, 56, and Susan Barksdale, 59, were being extradited from Henrietta, New York, to Pima County, Arizona, when they “overpowered” two security officers in Blanding, the Tucson Police Department said.

The Barksdales are wanted in connection with the April 16 killing of 72-year-old Frank Bligh in Tucson, Arizona, the police department said.

Officials said the pair are believed to be “armed and dangerous” and should not be approached.

Investigators don’t know what direction the Barksdales are traveling but have information that suggests they may be traveling through Arizona, the department said.

The couple were last seen driving a red GMC Sierra pickup truck with damage to the front passenger side and rear bumper. The truck has an Arizona license plate with the number 127XTY.

Blane Barksdale has multiple tattoos on his arms and hands, police said.

Any person who sees the Barksdales or has possible information on their whereabouts should call 911 immediately, the department said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals and Apache County Sheriff’s Office are assisting in the investigation.

Arrest warrants were issued for Blane and Susan Barksdale on May 1 for investigation of murder, burglary, arson of an occupied structure, criminal damage, and theft of means of transportation, according to previous statements from the police department. The Barksdales were found later that month in Henrietta, New York, and were booked into jail there to await extradition.