KNAU and Arizona News
4:02 pm
Fri August 20, 2010

Last of Kingman escapees Captured

Phoenix, AZ – U.S. Marshal David Gonzales said a ranger from Apache-Sitgreaves
National Forest spotted an untended fire at the Gabaldon
Campground near Springerville. No one was around but the ranger
found a car partly hidden in the trees. And the license plate
came back showing the vehicle had been stolen in New Mexico about
the time an Oklahoma couple camping there were killed. The ranger
did eventually have contact with John McCluskey who he described
as acting jittery. All that caused the ranger to check the wanted
poster and, after making the match, call the SWAT from the Apache
County Sheriff's Department. They waited until it got close to
dark and then swept in, capturing not only McCluskey but his
fiance and cousin, Caslyn Welch, who had helped the three inmates
escape on July 30th.

(At the time of the arrest, Cassie Welch had a firearm in the
small of her back. She attempted to go for the firearm. But as
she pulled it out the SWAT officers obviously had their guns
trained on her and she dropped the weapon.)

Gonzales said McCluskey told them after he was taken into custody
that if he had been able to get back to his tent he would have
grabbed a gun there and killed the officers. But Gonzales said
that wasn't all he said.

(Mr. McCluskey also indicated that he should have killed the
forest ranger when he had an opportunity to.)

The pair were booked into the St. Johns jail. In the meantime,
police continue to comb the campsite for clues as to any crimes
they committed while on the run, including that Santa Rosa
murder. Gonzales said if there is a confirmed link, authorities
in New Mexico may want to try the pair for murder rather than
having them go on trial in Mohave County for escape. The other
two escapees, Tracy Province and Daniel Renwick, had been
captured earlier. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard
Fischer.