Escaped Arizona prison inmate, fiance captured - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Escaped Arizona prison inmate, fiance captured


PHOENIX (WKOW) -- The last man on the run following a prison break in northwest Arizona is back behind bars.

Inmate John McCluskey and his fiance Casslyn Welch were captured Thursday evening at an Arizona campground 300 miles east of the prison, according to officials in Apache County, Ariz.

Authorities say a ranger with the U.S. Forest Service spotted an unattended campfire and a car with stolen license plates. The ranger said he recognized McCluskey and Welch, saying McCluskey got fidgety when approached. McCluskey later told authorities he wishes he would have had the opportunity to shoot the ranger.

A SWAT team swarmed the couple around 7 p.m. Authorities say Welch reached for a gun, but dropped it when she realized she was outgunned. McCluskey was taken into custody without incident.

McCluskey and Welch, who is also McCluskey's cousin, had been subjects of a nationwide manhunt since July 30. In the following weeks, police believed them to be hiding somewhere in Yellowstone National Park.

McCluskey, 45, was serving a 15-year sentence for attempted second-degree murder and other charges. Police suspect McCluskey and Welch killed an Oklahoma couple in New Mexico earlier this month. Officials say the stolen car found Thursday had license plates stolen around the same time the couple was killed.

Authorities say Welch helped McCluskey, Tracy Province, and Daniel Renwick escape from prison by cutting through a security fence. Renwick was captured on Aug. 1 in Colorado, while Province was captured eight days later in Wyoming.

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