crimesider

Arizona Inmate Escape: Yellowstone Manhunt for 3 Involved in Prison Break, Suspected Double Murder Ups Ante

Tracy Province, left, and John McCluskey (AP/Mohave County Sheriff's Office)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (CBS/AP) The search for two Arizona prison escapees and an accomplice has intensified in the area of Yellowstone National Park after one of the convicts was linked to a recent double homicide in New Mexico.

The U.S. Marshals Service said Sunday information developed within the past two days indicates Tracy Province, John McCluskey and accomplice Casslyn Welch may be hiding in portions of Yellowstone in either Montana or Wyoming. The agency also said investigators believe Province has separated from McCluskey and Welch.

It doesn't appear any of the three are expert campers or have wilderness survival skills, said Thomas Henman, supervisory deputy with the U.S. Marshals Service in Phoenix.

Federal investigators in Montana and Wyoming and law enforcement authorities with the National Park Service are working with investigators from Arizona to follow leads in the Yellowstone area.

The manhunt for the three intensified Saturday after authorities said forensic evidence linked at least one of the inmates to the killings of an Oklahoma couple who was traveling through eastern New Mexico last week.

The badly burned skeletal remains of Linda and Gary Haas - both 61 - were found in a charred camper Wednesday morning on a remote ranch in Santa Rosa. The couple's pickup truck was found that afternoon 100 miles west in Albuquerque.

Crimesider previously reported that Province, McCluskey and Daniel Renwick escaped from a medium-security prison in Arizona through a door that should have set off alarms, but never did.

McCluskey's cousin Welch, who is also his fiancee, helped them escape by throwing wire cutters over a fence. Authorities believe the two fugitives have split up and Welch is on the run with McCluskey.

The three later kidnapped two semi-truck drivers at gunpoint and used the big rig to get away, authorities said. The group left the drivers unharmed in the truck at a stop just off the freeway in Flagstaff and then fled.

Renwick was arrested Aug. 1 in Colorado after a shootout with police.

Province was serving a life sentence for murder and robbery. McCluskey was serving a 15-year prison term for attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault and discharge of a firearm. Renwick had been serving a 22-year sentence for second-degree murder.

  • Edecio Martinez

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