PHOENIX - Federal authorities say about 50 officers surrounded a remote Arizona house 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 from one caller that 56-year-old Blane Barksdale and 59-year-old Susan Barksdale might be at the home.
"They just said, 'here, this is a place you might want to look,'" said David Gonzales with the U.S. Marshal Service, referring to a home in Punkin Center.
Officials said Susan surrendered quickly. They say Blane initially refused to come out, and ignored commands when he did emerge. Officers used a stun gun to subdue him.
U.S. Marshal's Service officials held a news conference Thursday morning, hours after the Barksdale's arrests.
News of the Barksdale's arrests came late Wednesday night. On its Facebook page, officials with the Navajo County Sheriff's Office said they assisted the U.S. Marshals in capturing the two, and that the two were captured without incident.
In August, Tucson Police officials said Blane and Susan overpowered two security officers in Blanding, Utah and escaped while traveling to Pima County from Henrietta, New York. The two were wanted in connection to the murder of a 72-year-old man in Tucson.
In earlier statements, officials with the U.S. Marshals Service say the couple faked a medical emergency while riding in a prison transport van. The couple then overpowered the two guards, tied them up and put them in the back of the van with a third uninvolved prisoner. The overpowered guards were hired by a private security company, which officials say is a common, cost-cutting decision.
Once the group arrived outside of St. Johns, Arizona, the Barksdales switched to a friend's red GMC Sierra pickup. Highway signs with the truck information were posted around the state but were taken down after it was believed it wasn't likely they were still using that truck.
"Instead of using sworn police officers, a lot of agencies will use private security companies to pick up prisoners and bring them back," said David Gonzales with the U.S. Marshal District of Arizona.
Authorities also believed the Barksdales received help to stay hidden.
The U.S. Marshals had been offering rewards of up to $10,000 for each suspect, but the agency announced Monday the reward for information leading directly to Blane's arrest was increased to $25,000. The two were also added to the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted List.
The couple are due in court in Tucson later Thursday, and the U.S. Marshals say they're investigating any possible accomplices.
Blane (left) and Susan (right) Barksdale. (Photo Courtesy: Navajo County Sheriff's Office)
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.