The Latest: Prison transport company suspended after escape
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The Latest on a couple suspected of murder who escaped while authorities brought them from New York to Arizona (all times local):
Law enforcement officials in Arizona are suspending the use of a prison transport company after the escape of a couple suspected of murder.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday that it will stop using Security Transport Services pending a review. The county has had a contract with the Topeka, Kansas-based company since 2016.
Multiple agencies are searching for 56-year-old Blane Barksdale and 59-year-old Susan Barksdale after they overpowered the company’s guards in a transport vehicle Monday in small-town Utah.
They fled and are believed to be in Arizona. Police say they were last seen driving a red GMC Sierra truck.
Investigators say the couple are suspected in the April slaying of a 72-year-old Tucson man.
Sheriff’s officials say Security Transport Services has transported roughly 70 inmates this year at a cost of $88,500.
Federal authorities are offering $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of a couple who escaped as they were being transported to Arizona to face murder charges.
The U.S. Marshals Service announced Wednesday there would be a $10,000 reward for the capture of each fugitive.
Authorities say guards were transporting 56-year-old Blane Barksdale and 59-year-old Susan Barksdale from upstate New York. The couple somehow overpowered them in a transport vehicle Monday night in Blanding, Utah.
Police say they were last seen driving a red GMC Sierra truck with damage to the front passenger side and rear bumper.
Authorities say the couple are considered armed and dangerous. Investigators believe they are connected to the killing of a 72-year-old Tucson man.
The FBI, Tucson police and other agencies are helping investigate the escape.
Digital signs on Arizona highways alert the public that a married couple suspected in a Tucson killing remained at large after overpowering two guards and escaping in Utah while being extradited from New York to Arizona.
Tucson police said 56-year-old Blane Barksdale and 59-year-old wife Susan Barksdale escaped Monday evening in Blanding, Utah.
Authorities say the Barksdales may be driving through Arizona, are considered armed and dangerous and were last seen in a Red GMC pickup with the Arizona license plate of 127XTY.
The highway signs displayed Wednesday mention the vehicle and advise anybody seeing the couple to call 911.
They face charges of first-degree murder and other crimes in the April slaying of 72-year-old Frank Bligh in Tucson. They were arrested May 24 in Henrietta, New York.