Tucson Homicide Suspects Arrested In New York

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Blane Barksdale | Susan Barksdale

Two fugitives wanted by police in Arizona for the murder of 72-year-old Frank Bligh have been arrested in Henrietta, New York.

U.S. Marshals and Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Blane Barksdale and Susan Barksdale early Friday morning. The Barksdales were booked into the Monroe County Jail in New York to await their return to Arizona.

According to Tucson Police, it is unknown at this time when extradition will occur.

The pair is accused of killing Bligh and causing a fire and explosion at his house in Tucson on April 16. During the investigation, police learned Mr. Bligh had not been seen since April 7.

Investigators found Mr. Bligh’s vehicle in Pima County, Arizona on April 17. Based on information and evidence gathered during the fire investigation and missing person investigation, investigators determined that foul play was involved and began investigating the case as a homicide.

On April 24, 2019, another individual believed to be involved, 30-year-old Brent Mallard, was located in Maricopa County. Tucson Police Homicide Detectives spoke to Mallard about the arson and disappearance of Mr. Bligh. After speaking with Mallard, he was arrested and booked into the Maricopa County Jail on felony charges for Arson of an Occupied Structure, Second Degree Burglary and Felony Criminal Damage. Mallard has since been extradited back to Pima County and is currently in the Pima County Jail.

As detectives continued their investigation, they were able to obtain additional information and evidence, giving them probable cause to arrest the 55-year-old Blane and his wife, 58-year-old Susan for the murder of Mr. Bligh.

On May 1, 2019, a felony arrest warrant was issued on the Barksdales for the charges of First Degree Murder, First Degree Burglary, Arson of an Occupied Structure, Felony Criminal Damage and Theft of Means of Transportation (Auto Theft). Blane Barksdale has an additional felony charge of Prohibited Possessor on his arrest warrant.

During the investigation it was also discovered that Brent Mallard is the nephew of Blane Barksdale.

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