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Archive for Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Search for fugitives from Arizona continues

August 11, 2010

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— Authorities Tuesday focused on western Montana and southwest Canada in the search for an escaped convict from Arizona and his suspected accomplice who fashion themselves a present-day “Bonnie and Clyde.”

U.S. marshals said there have been reports that the accomplice, Casslyn Welch, was spotted Sunday at a restaurant in St. Mary, Mont., near Glacier National Park.

Montana’s acting marshal, Rod Ostermiller, said there were multiple other tips from the Glacier area, but he didn’t say whether any included sightings of escapee John McCluskey.

Ten miles north of St. Mary, residents of Babb have been frightened by the presence of police cars patrolling the streets. The town of 700 normally sees a patrol car every other week, said Tedi Burns, a bartender at the Babb Bar Cattle Baron Supper Club.

“This is a small town and nobody can find them,” said Burns, 19. “They could be hiding in the woods. We have mountains around us. We have a bunch of backwoods they could be hiding around.”

Glacier National Park abuts the Canadian border in rugged terrain, but the border to the east, along the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, is fairly flat. Glacier County Undersheriff Jeff Fauque said there are several small roads that cross the border.

McCluskey escaped from a medium-security Arizona State Prison near Kingman on July 30 after authorities say Welch threw wire cutters over the perimeter fence. Welch, 44, is McCluskey’s fiancee and cousin. McCluskey was serving a 15-year prison term for attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault and discharge of a firearm out of Maricopa County, Ariz.

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