16-day search for fugitive couple ends in arrests

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WASHINGTON (KWTX) The search for two murder suspects who overpowered two guards on Aug. 26 in Utah and hijacked a prison transport van has ended.

The Barksdales are considered armed and dangerous. (U.S. Marshals Service photos)

Blane Barksdale, 56, and his wife Susan Barksdale, 59, were in custody Friday after authorities arrested them Wednesday night at a home in Tonto Basin, Ariz.

“Their arrest in Tonto Basin, a remote and secluded area of Arizona, was the direct result from tips from the public in addition to federal, state, and local law enforcement working as a team,” said David Gonzales, the U.S. marshal for the District of Arizona.

The two were taken into custody after about 50 officers from multiple agencies surrounded the home and established a perimeter.

Susan Barksdale surrendered without incident, but her husband at first refused to come out of the home and when he did, he ignored the commands of officers and resisted arrest, authorities said.

The two were taken to a nearby jail to await transfer back to Tucson to face first-degree murder charges in connection with the murder of a man there whose home was set on fire after he was killed.

“We are relieved to have the Barksdales in custody,” U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald Washington said.

“Law enforcement teamwork and support from concerned communities led to their capture,” he said.