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Husband-and-wife murder suspects on the run after escaping guards in Utah

Two murder suspects are on the run after overpowering a pair of security officers in Utah as they were being extradited from New York, law enforcement agencies said Tuesday.

Officials are searching for Blane Barksdale, 56, and Susan Barksdale, 59, who on Monday evening escaped in Blanding, Utah, while being transported from Henrietta, New York, to Pima County in Arizona, the Tucson Police Department said.

They are wanted in the murder of Frank Bligh, 72, who was killed April 16 in Tucson, the police department said in a statement.

Blanding is a community of around 3,300 in the southeastern part of Utah, about 40 miles north of the Arizona border.

The husband and wife overpowered two security officers with Security Transport Services and took the van they were in. The van was later found.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday that the pair, who should be considered armed and dangerous, was last seen driving a red GMC Sierra truck with damage to the front passenger side and the rear bumper.

Both are facing first-degree murder, burglary and arson charges in the death of Bligh, according to KVOA. They were arrested in New York in May.

Tucson police and the Pima County sheriff’s office said that the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and the Apache County Sheriff’s Office are assisting in the investigation.

The Barksdales were being transported to the Pima County Adult Detention Complex when they escaped, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department said.

Bligh was last seen at a Tucson bar one week before an April 16 arson fire at his Tucson home, police said. They said Bligh’s missing car was later found and evidence inside led detectives to determine that he was dead, The Associated Press reported.