Husband and wife fugitives on Most Wanted list for murder are captured in Arizona after intense manhunt

Blane Barksdale and his wife Susan escaped custody last month.

September 12, 2019, 4:04 AM

Authorities in Arizona say they've captured a fugitive husband and wife couple who've been the subject of an intensive manhunt since escaping custody more than two weeks ago.

Blane Barksdale and his wife Susan, both wanted for murder, escaped custody last month by overpowering a transport team that was taking them from upstate New York to Pima County, Arizona.

The couple's capture came just two days after Barksdale was added to the Unites States Marshals' 15 Most Wanted List.

PHOTO: Blane, 56, and Susan Barksdale, 59, are wanted on murder and arson charges, police in Tucson said, Aug. 27, 2019.
Blane, 56, and Susan Barksdale, 59, are wanted on murder and arson charges, police in Tucson said, Aug. 27, 2019.
Tuscon Police Department via Facebook

Officials with the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona say the Barksdales were located Wednesday evening and taken into custody without incident. The sheriff’s office said it assisted the U.S. Marshall’s Service in capturing the fugitives.

The reward for Blane Barksdale, called a "career criminal" by authorities, had increased to $25,000 with his addition to the 15 Most Wanted List, officials said earlier this week.

The Barksdales, both suspects in the April murder of 72-year-old man in Tucson, were being transported from New York to Arizona when they escaped on Aug. 26, authorities said.

The couple was in a transport van in Utah when they overpowered the two security guards by faking a medical ailment. They then tied up the guards as well as a third inmate who was in the van, said David Gonzales, U.S. Marshal for the District of Arizona, at a news conference Monday.

The Barksdales then drove the van to Vernon, Arizona, where they obtained a pickup truck from an acquaintance and likely got help from additional people, Gonzales said. After ditching the van, the couple drove off in the pickup truck, according to Gonzales.

The Barksdales were located following what Gonzales on Monday said was a change in the direction of the investigation from a "rapid manpower search to an intense fugitive search."

"Instead of having 40, 50 police officers, agents on the ground, we're going to pull back a little bit, reset our investigation, go over other leads," Gonzales said Monday, two days before the couple was captured.

ABC News' Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.