Claudia Washburn, the owner of Jakes Corner store near Tonto Basin, along with Diana Joy Glattfelder, of Prescott Valley, have been arrested and charged with conspiring to help three convicted murderers escape from prison.
Police have already captured two of the three escaped convicts who had been on the run for the last week. Washburn is being held on $250,000 bond at the Gila County Jail in Globe.
Police continue to seek a third escapee and his Tonto Basin girlfriend on what is being called a “Bonnie and Clyde” crime spree across the country that may include two murders.
Washburn is the mother of escapee John McCluskey and Glattfelder is McCluskey’s ex-wife, according to the state attorney general’s office.
On Saturday, New Mexico officials connected the escaped convicts to the murder of an elderly couple at a New Mexico campground last week in Santa Rosa, N.M.
The remains of Gary and Linda Haas were found in the couple’s camper, which had been set on fire and abandoned 120 miles from Albuquerque, N.M.
Bonnie and Clyde
Police are searching for Casslyn Welch, 44, who worked at Jakes Corner and who is reportedly both McCluskey’s cousin and his fiancée.
Welch allegedly threw a wire cutter over a prison’s fence July 30, enabling three convicts to escape from a private prison in Kingman.
Welch and McCluskey have taken on the persona of Bonnie (Parker) and Clyde (Barrow), outlaws from the 1930s, officials said.
“They have taken on the persona that this is some type of joke or movie that they are living,” Arizona Marshal David Gonzales said.
“Rest assured that we are going to be on McCluskey like a cheap suit.”
Welch and McCluskey remain at large, perhaps in Wyoming.
Jakes Corner arrests
On Saturday, Jakes Corner residents watched officers descend on their small community and arrest Washburn.
Reportedly, Washburn and Glattfelder gave McCluskey — who was serving time for attempted murder — money, supplies, transportation and medical aid after he and convicted murderers Tracy Province, 42, and Daniel Renwick, 36, broke out of prison.
According to authorizes, on the evening of July 30, McCluskey, Renwick and Province cut through two fences surrounding a private, contract Kingman prison after Welch tossed them wire cutters.
Renwick fled Arizona in Welch’s car for Colorado and was later captured in Rifle, Colo., on Aug. 1.
Welch, McCluskey and Province hijacked a semi-truck and forced two truckers to drive them to Flagstaff. An unnamed woman, now thought to be Glattfelder, then helped the group get from Flagstaff to Jakes Corner, officials said.
Welch, who worked at the corner store in Jakes Corner up until a day before the escape, was reportedly a pleasant woman who told them she was going on vacation, neighbors said.
The Roundup called Jakes Corner Store on Thursday for comment, but Washburn, who at the time had not been arrested, refused comment and hung up.
Jakes Corner was the first place Welch, McCluskey and Province went to after escaping, authorities said.
Washburn gave the group money and aided McCluskey, who had cut himself during the escape.
Washburn has been charged with conspiracy to commit escape, hindering prosecution and facilitation to commit escape.
Gonzales said they hope Washburn’s arrest will demonstrate that anyone aiding these escapees will have to pay the consequences.
On Monday morning, federal marshals and members of the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Department captured Province in Meeteetse, Wyo. after a witness saw Province walking through town near a church.
Authorities said they put surveillance up at a church where Province was spotted and on Monday morning, arrested him without incident. Province was carrying a 9mm handgun and a hitchhiking sign with “Casper.”
Province said he was relieved the manhunt for him was over.
Authorities are now only searching for Welch and McCluskey.
Authorities initially thought the pair was in Yellowstone National Park, but now believe they have left the park and are in the general area.
The pair is possibly driving a gray 1997 Nissan Sentra with Arizona license plate 620PFV.
Gonzales said they are managing hundreds of leads, but believe Welch and McCluskey are in Wyoming or Montana and potentially heading for the Canadian border.
The escapees are considered armed and extremely dangerous. The public is encouraged to call their local police or the ASP Kingman Escapees Task Force in Arizona at (602) 542-1212.
A $40,000 reward for information leading to their arrest has been offered.