Escapees believed to be in Yellowstone

Associated Press / August 9, 2010

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ALBUQUERQUE — The search for two men who escaped from a private Arizona prison and their suspected accomplice has turned to the Yellowstone National Park area after one of the inmates was linked to a double homicide in New Mexico and efforts to find them intensified.

The US Marshals Service said yesterday that information acquired within the past two days indicates Tracy Province, John McCluskey, and Casslyn Welch may be hiding in sections of the park that span Montana and Wyoming.

The agency also said investigators believe Province has separated from McCluskey and Welch.

It doesn’t appear any of the three are expert campers or have wilderness survival skills, said Thomas Henman, supervisory deputy with the Marshals Service in Phoenix.

“From the start, we believed these individuals would be staying at campgrounds and truck stops and other places like that. This keeps to that pattern,’’ Henman said.

The manhunt for the three intensified Saturday after forensic evidence linked at least one of the inmates to the killings of an Oklahoma couple traveling through eastern New Mexico earlier this week.

The burned skeletal remains of Linda and Gary Haas — both 61 and from Tecumseh — were found in a charred camper Wednesday in Santa Rosa. The couple’s pickup was found 100 miles west in Albuquerque.

Province, McCluskey, and Daniel Renwick escaped from Arizona State Prison near Kingman on July 30 after Welch, 44, of Mesa threw wire cutters over the fence, authorities said. Welch is McCluskey’s fiancée and cousin.

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