Husband-and-wife murder suspects who overpowered two guards to escape custody have been captured after more than two weeks on the run, the U.S. Marshals Service said late Wednesday.
The suspects were initially arrested May 24 in upstate NY and charged with first-degree murder, burglary, arson and auto theft in connection with the disappearance of Frank Bligh, 72, who was reported missing following the April 16 fire and explosion at his Tucson home.
The married couple accused of killing a 72-year-old man and then escaping as they were being transported from NY to Arizona to face charges has been taken into custody.
Neither of the guards was hurt, but they were bound with shoelaces, Gonzales said.
Both agencies plan to hold a joint news conference in Phoenix at 11 a.m. Thursday to provide further details about the couple's capture, Tucson's KOLD-TV reported.
After the alleged killing, the couple fled to upstate NY, where U.S. Marshals with help from a SWAT team apprehended them.
The Marshals Service said Susan Barksdale faked a medical emergency while riding in the van near Blanding, Utah. A third inmate in the van wanted no part of the escape.
The pair, Blane and Susan Barksdale, spent most of the summer at the Monroe County Jail and were included on the U.S. Marshal's 15 Most Wanted list.
Blane Barksdale was described as having Nazi swastika tattoos and the couple were said to be associated with white supremacy groups, and members of such groups may have been helping them hide out, officials said.
The couple then took off with the little money the guards had in their wallets, and then left behind the guards, who tied up in the back, as well as another prisoner.
The guards, a male and female, were unarmed and didn't feel the need to take a handgun that was inside a locked box when they went to open the rear compartment of the van, authorities say.
The fugitives allegedly stole $30 from the guards and, through a friend, acquired another vehicle in Arizona - a red GMC Sierra pickup truck - to resume their attempted getaway with at least a six- to seven-hour head start before authorities were alerted to look for them.
On May 1, an arrest warrant was issued for the Barksdales on charges including first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, arson and auto theft, police said.