Couple wanted in AZ homicide arrested in New York
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TUCSON, Az. – TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona couple sought in connection with the death of an elderly man has been apprehended in New York state.
The U.S. Marshals Service announced that 55-year-old Blane Barksdale and 58-year-old Susan Barksdale were arrested without incident Friday morning in Henrietta, New York.
Both have been wanted since last month in Tucson on charges including first-degree murder.
U.S. Marshals officials say they received information indicating the Barksdales had fled to New York. They are in jail awaiting extradition.
Tucson authorities say a there was no sign of 72-year-old Frank Bligh when a fire and ensuing explosion erupted at his home last month.
His car was later found abandoned.
Investigators linked the arson to Blane Barksdale’s nephew, who was subsequently arrested.
They then identified the couple as suspects.
Additional information included in a press release sent out by the U.S. Marshall Service states:
“Phoenix, Ariz. – This morning, Blane Barksdale, 55, and Susan Barksdale, 58, were arrested in Henrietta, NY.
The Barksdale’s were wanted by the Tucson Police Department for 1st Degree Murder, 1st Degree Burglary, Arson of an Occupied Structure, Theft of Means of Transportation, Criminal Damage and Prohibited Possession.
“The United States Marshals Service is dedicated to assuring that fugitives can find no safe haven from justice no matter how far they run,” said United States Marshal David Gonzales.
“We thank our team in New York for safely capturing the Barksdales and look forward to returning them to Tucson so they can answer for their crimes.”
In April of this year, the Tucson Fire Department and Tucson Police Department were dispatched to a residential fire in the 3500 block of South Calexico Avenue.
The fire led to an explosion inside of the home, which caused significant damage to the structure. When fire crews entered the home, they saw that no one was inside.
Officers attempted to locate the home owner, 72-year-old Frank Bligh, but they were unsuccessful.
Mr. Bligh’s vehicle was also missing from the residence.
Through the course of the investigation, it was suspected that foul play was involved in the Arson and Mr. Bligh’s potential Homicide and that Blane and Susan Barksdale were involved in the matters surrounding the charges associated with this case.
The Tucson Police Department requested the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service led Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force in locating and apprehending the Barksdales.
Based on investigative information that was developed indicating they fled the state, Task Force members contacted U.S. Marshal’s in New York.
Acting on this information, U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in New York along with assistance from the Monroe County Sherriff’s Department’s Swat team and B-Zone members apprehended Blane and Susan Barksdale in Henrietta without incident.
The Barksdales were booked in the Monroe County Jail in New York to await their return to Arizona.
The United States Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency.
Annually, U.S. Marshals arrest more than 50 percent of all federal fugitives and serve more federal warrants than all other federal agencies combined.
For more information on USMS Fifteen Most Wanted fugitives and USMS Major Cases, go to www.usmarshals.gov.“
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