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Timeline: Weeks-long manhunt for escaped Arizona murder suspects ends in Tonto Basin

The Barksdales escaped in Blanding, Utah, and were eventually tracked down more than two weeks later in Tonto Basin.

PHOENIX - Blane and Susan Barksdale spent more than two weeks on the run after their escape from a private security service that was delivering them from New York to a Tucson jail.

The couple is accused of killing a 72-year-old man in Tucson, setting his house on fire and then stealing more than 100 guns.

The Barksdales escaped in Blanding, Utah, and were eventually tracked down in Tonto Basin.

April 7

Frank Bligh, the 72-year-old man the Barksdales are accused of killing, was last seen at the Cowpony Bar. 

April 16

The Barksdales' life on the lam began after Bligh was reported missing on April 16. Both the Tucson Fire Department and Tucson Police Department responded to a fire at Bligh's residence. But neither Bligh nor his vehicle was found.

Credit: Tucson PD

April 17

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department found Bligh’s vehicle. It had been abandoned on South Wilmot Road within the county. The Tucson Police Department began investigating the case as a homicide.

April 24

On April 24, Blane Barksdale's nephew, Brent Mallard, was arrested on arson charges connected to the fire and explosion.

Credit: Tucson PD

May 1

Felony arrest warrants was issued for the Barksdales, both on a first-degree murder charge.

May 24

In Henrietta, New York, outside Rochester, U.S. Marshals captured the fugitive Barksdales on murder charges.

August 26

In the southeastern Utah community of Blanding, the Barksdales overpowered two security guards delivering them from New York to face justice in Tucson. They took a van. In nearby Saint Johns, Arizona they abandoned that van.

But in the hamlet of Vernon, Arizona, 20 miles east of Show Low they were able to obtain a red GMC Sierra pickup truck with Arizona license plate 127XTY. The vehicle's description popped up on overhead freeway signs.

Credit: U.S. Marshals
Red GMC Sierra the suspects may be driving with Arizona plate 127XTY

August 28

The U.S. Marshals Service announced a reward of up to $10,000 per fugitive for information leading to the arrest of the Barksdales. 

Pima County officials said they've suspended the security service that was tasked with transporting the Barksdales. 

August 31

The U.S. Marshals released new photographs of the Barksdales shortly before they escaped during transport and of the red truck they may be driving.

The U.S. Marshals Service said Susan Barksdale faked a medical emergency while riding in a prison transport van in Utah. The couple overpowered the two guards, tied them up and put them in the back of the van with a third uninvolved prisoner.

READ: Search continues for fugitive couple who escaped during transport to Arizona

Once the group arrived outside of St. Johns, Arizona, the couple switched to a friend's red GMC Sierra pickup.

September 4

Authorities said the fugitive couple may have been able to stay hidden from law enforcement because they were getting help from multiple people.

The U.S. Marshal said they were looking into several possible persons of interest.

RELATED: Marshal: Fugitive couple wanted in Arizona man's murder likely getting help to stay hidden

September 6

The Barksdales were still on the run and authorities said they believed the two were still in Arizona despite all of the attention.

RELATED: Are the escaped murder suspects still in Arizona? Authorities think so.

September 9

Despite hundreds of calls with tips and possible sightings, the Barksdales had not been seen or located. 

U.S. Marshals Service upped the reward for information leading to Blane Barksdale's arrest to $25,000. They put him on the Marshals Top 15 Most Wanted list.

READ: Fugitive red truck 'disappeared off the face of the earth,' Marshals put Barksdales on 15 Most Wanted

September 11

The Barksdales were arrested in Tonto Basin and will be taken to Tucson to face the murder charges against them.

READ: Escaped Arizona murder suspects captured by US Marshals after weeks on the run

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