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Escaped Fugitives Found Hiding In Punkin Center Home

Tucson Police Department

Federal authorities say about 50 officers surrounded a remote Arizona house near Punkin Center in Gila County and arrested a couple accused of murder who had escaped a prison transport van and been on the run for more than two weeks.

The U.S. Marshal's Service said Thursday that authorities got a tip the couple might be at the home and that Susan Barksdale surrendered quickly.

Marshals say her husband, Blane Barksdale, initially refused to come out Wednesday night and ignored commands when he did emerge. Officers used a stun gun to subdue him.

U.S. Marshal for Arizona David Gonzalez says the person who was hiding them at the time of the arrest has a history of drug offenses.

He said it is unknown if others who hid them have criminal connections, but law enforcement will find out as the investigation turns its focus onto them.

Gonzalez says Blane and Susan Barksdale were in Arizona for the entire 16 days they were on the lam, and were in an area east of Snowflake until a couple of days ago.

“There’s a lot of people there that like to live off the grid, if you will, and have a lot of other unique issues going on up there.

The couple are due in court in Tucson later Thursday. Marshals say they're investigating any possible accomplices.

The couple escaped Aug. 26 as they were taken from upstate New York to Tucson to face charges in the April death of a 72-year-old man.

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