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Last of 3 Az. Prison Escapees Nabbed at Campground

John McCluskey/marshal photo

John McCluskey/marshal photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The hunt for the last of three fugitives who escaped from an Arizona prison is over.

The U.S. Marshals Service said John McCluskey and his accomplice Casslyn Welch were captured Thursday at a campsite in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in eastern Arizona following a tip from a suspicious U.S. Forest Service ranger, the Associated Press reported. Welch is McLulskey’s fiancee and cousin.

Welch and two other inmates escaped from a private prison in northwest Arizona on July 30. The other two had already been captured.

The Associated Press reported that the ranger on Thursday checked an unattended fire and noticed a silver Nissan Sentra had been parked in a wooded area as if someone was trying to hide it.

AP reported that the ranger spoke briefly to McCluskey, who appeared nervous.

A SWAT team later surrounded the camp ground and made the arrest, U.S. Marshal David Gonzales said, according to AP.

Gonzales said Welch reached for a weapon but dropped it after realizing she was outnumbered. McCluskey was lying in a sleeping bag.

“The nightmare that began July 30 is finally over,” Gonzales said, according to the AP.

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