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Casslyn Welch and John McCluskey Captured: Fugitive Pair Found in Arizona

Casslyn Welch and John McCluskey Captured: Fugitive Pair Found in Arizona
John McCluskey Being Taken into Custody by U.S. Marshals (AP Photo)

PHOENIX (CBS/KPHO/AP) After nearly three weeks on the run, escaped convicts John McCluskey and his fiancee, Casslyn Welch, were captured Thursday at an Arizona campground after a forest ranger spotted the couple along with the vehicle they allegedly stole.

PICTURES: Arizona Fugitives Captured

McCluskey, 45, and Welch, 44, who is also the inmate's cousin, were taken into custody by several officers at about 7:15 p.m. at a campsite at the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in northeastern Arizona. Welch at first wielded a weapon, but dropped it when she saw she was outgunned by a SWAT team, said David Gonzales, U.S. marshal for Arizona.

CBS affiliate KPHO reports that McCluskey was in a nearby sleeping bag and was taken into custody without incident. Other firearms were found at the campsite, and authorities said that McCluskely expressed regret at not having killed the U.S. Forest Service ranger who led to their capture.

"The nightmare is over, but it is still continuing. There's a lot more for law enforcement to do," Gonzales said, referring to investigations into crimes the pair may have committed while on the road, including the possible slaying of a couple in New Mexico.

"We want to tie them to as many crimes as we can," Gonzales said. "We want to ensure that the New Mexico murders are looked at carefully, working with those agencies. And if there are any more crimes that were committed while they were out, we want to make sure we tie those to them."

McCluskey was among three prisoners who escaped July 30 from a privately operated state prison in Kingman, Ariz.

Arizona Corrections Department officials have said that Welch helped McCluskey and inmates Tracy Province and Daniel Renwick escape July 30 from the private prison facility by cutting through a security fence, setting off a massive multistate search.

Renwick was recaptured in Rifle, Colorado, on Aug. 1, and Province was found in Meeteetse, Wyoming, on Aug. 9.

Renwick and Province were serving time for murder. McCluskey was serving a 15-year prison term for attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault and discharge of a firearm.

  • Edecio Martinez

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