For Immediate Release
|September 09, 2019||
Amelia Swenhaugen, Deputy U.S. Marshal - Phoenix (602) 828-8349
Nathan Warner, Deputy U.S. Marshal - Tucson (520) 305-0449;
U.S. Marshals Office of Public Affairs (703) 740-1699
U.S Marshals Search for
Arizona Female Murder Suspect
Who Escaped With Husband Intensifies
Reward of up to $25,000 for information leading directly to his arrest
Washington, D.C. – The search for the Arizona female murder suspect who escaped custody with her husband intensified today as the U.S. Marshals Service designated her a Major Case fugitive.
Susan Barksdale, 59, and her 56-year-old husband, Blane Barksdale, escaped custody while being extradited back to Arizona from New York, on Aug. 26. The husband-and-wife team overpowered and kidnapped two security officers and a third inmate near Blanding, Utah. The couple then drove to Vernon, Arizona, where they obtain a GMC Sierra pick-up truck from an acquaintance. They later abandoned the locked prison van with the three occupants inside.
The Barksdales have both been charged with first-degree murder by the Tucson Police Department in the death of Frank Bligh, 72, who has not been seen since fire consumed his home April 16. Evidence found at Bligh’s residence led detectives to determine the fire was intentionally set. Detectives also believed that more than 100 firearms were stolen from the residence. Additional evidence uncovered during the investigation led them to obtain homicide arrest warrants for the couple. The charges on the warrants include first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, arson of an occupied structure, criminal damage and auto theft. Now with Susan Barksdale’s fugitive status being upgraded to a Major Case, Marshals investigators across the country will be alerted of the elevated priority to apprehend her.
“I urge the public not to be deceived by the physical appearance of the Barksdales,” said U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald Washington. “While they may look friendly, both have demonstrated a propensity for violence and should be considered armed and dangerous. The couple’s alleged blatant disregard for human life and the law have made them both a priority for us. We believe this elevation and the public’s vigilance will ultimately result in their apprehension.”
Susan Barksdale is a 5-foot-7 white female weighing approximately 120 pounds with blonde-gray hair and blue eyes. Blane Barksdale is a 6-foot-5 white male weighing approximately 260 pounds with brown-gray-shaved hair and blue eyes. He has large tattoos covering both forearms, arms, shoulders and torso of swastikas, warlocks, lightning bolts – all associated with white supremacy groups. They were last seen possibly driving a red GMC Sierra pickup truck with damage to the front passenger side and rear bumper with an Arizona license plate 127XTY.
The U.S. Marshals are offering a reward of up to
$10,000 for information leading
directly to Susan Barksdale’s arrest, and
$25,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of Blane
Barksdale, who was recently added to the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted
fugitive list. Anyone with information is urged to contact the nearest
U.S. Marshals office, the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at
1-877-WANTED-2, or submit information
through the U.S. Marshals Tips app at www.usmarshals.gov/tips.
Additional photos of Blane and Susan Barksdale:
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.