Fugitives are still at large after overpowering guards

San Juan County was apparently the setting in the past week when two prisoners escaped from custody while being transported from Henrietta, NY to Tucson, AZ.

The two overpowered a two-person transport team on August 26, soon after leaving from the San Juan County jail in Monticello.  

Initial reports stated that the wanted fugitives, who face first degree murder charges, escaped in Blanding.  Subsequent reports state that while they may have overpowered the transport team near Blanding, they did not abandon the transport vehicle until they arrived in St. Johns, AZ, which is 255 miles from Blanding.

A law enforcement official stated, “It is not believed that they are in San Juan County.”

The pair left the transport vehicle in St Johns, along with a third prisoner who was being transported.

After abandoning the transport vehicle, it is believed that the Barksdales are traveling through Arizona in a red GMC Sierra pickup.

The Associated Press reports that Susan Barksdale pretended to have “intestinal issues” in a successful attempt to overcome the guards.

Photographs have been released that were taken when the prisoners were booked into the San Juan County jail on August 25.  Transport teams often use jails to house prisoners overnight.

Blane and Susan Barksdale face a host of charges, including first degree murder and burglary.  They are believed to be responsible for the death of Frank Bligh, age 72, who was last seen in Tucson in April, 2019.

Blane Barksdale is 56 years old and Susan Barksdale is 59 years old.  They are believed to be armed and dangerous and are not to be approached. 

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
Fax: 435.587.3377
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