SHOW LOW — The U.S. Marshals Service is asking local residents to help them find and apprehend escaped murder suspects Blane and Susan Barksdale. Law Enforcement officials believe the couple is still somewhere in Navajo or Apache counties.
There is a $10,000 reward for each of them.
U.S. Marshal Service Assistant Chief Deputy for the District of Arizona, Van Bayless, said there have been no recent sightings nor any recent activity that leads them to believe the Barksdales left the area after escaping guards in Blanding, Utah on Aug. 26. They were were being transported to Tucson as suspects in the April murder of 72-year-old Tucson resident Frank Bligh.
“So, what we’re asking for here is the public's help to catch the Barksdales. The U.S. Marshals Service is here in Navajo and Apache counties; we’re assisting them in the hopes to locate (the Barksdales). The fact is that there just have’t been a lot of leads and at this point we’re just trying to shake some trees out and make contact with not only citizens, but wanted individuals in the area. We just have reason to believe that (the Barksdales) are somewhere here in the Navajo or Apache county area,” Clouse said.
Navajo County Sheriff David Clouse said he and other local law enforcement agencies are working closely with the U.S. Marshals Service to find the Barksdales and bring them in as soon as possible and that is why they are spreading the word on all local media outlets and social media.
Bayless said the last known contact the Barksdales had with anyone was in this part of the state, and there has been no activity to indicate they have left. Balyess said the couple owns property in the area, but would not say where.
Bayless said the Barksdales are considered armed and dangerous, adding that Blane is a much larger man then he appears in photos.
He said it is not unlikely the Barksdales have tried to change or alter their appearance in some way. Bayless added that Blane had a clean-shaven head when he escaped and would only have a weeks worth of growth on it right now.
Bayless said Blane is a violent man and should not be approached if anyone thinks they spot the fugitives.
“Just write down anything you see and call it into law enforcement. And 911 is probably the quickest way to do that,” he said.
“We know that Blane has connections with criminal elements in the area,” Bayless said.
Bayless and Clouse said anyone can call in a tip anonymously. They just want anyone who may have information about the Barksdales to feel they can call it in without worry they will be arrested.
Bayless also said that the Tucson Police Department, which is handling the Bligh murder, discovered that the Barksdales stole more than 100 firearms from the home before setting it on fire. He said some of those stolen firearms have been recovered — but not all of them.
“It is possible that (the Barksdales) were able to access some of those firearms after they escaped,” Bayless said.
Bayless thanked all of the local law enforcement agencies for their willingness to help in the search for the escaped suspected murderers.
Tips can be called into 911, the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office at 928-524-4050, the Apache County Sheriff’s Office at 928-337-4321, Show Low Police at 928-537-5091, or any local law enforcement agency.