Images of John Charles McCluskey and Casslyn Welch altered to show current appearance. U.S. Marshals Service photos.
Updated: Thursday, 12 Aug 2010, 12:27 PM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 11 Aug 2010, 12:43 PM MDT
GENTRY, Ark. (AP) - A sheriff's department official says there's "no reason to believe" an escaped Arizona inmate and his fiancee are in a small Arkansas town.
Law enforcement agencies swarmed Gentry, Ark., after a couple robbed a beauty salon there Wednesday.
But Benton County Sheriff's Office spokesman Doug Gay says there's no reason to think John McCluskey and Casslyn Welch committed the crime.
McCluskey and Welch have eluded authorities since he and two other inmates escaped from an Arizona prison June 30. They were last seen in Montana.
Gay says the Arkansas salon owner who was robbed says photographs of the couple don't match the couple who were in her shop. And he says a relative of one of the fugitives no longer lives in Gentry.
But he says an extensive search is ongoing.
An escaped Arizona prison inmate suspected in two New Mexico murders has likely darkened his hair and grown a beard, according to the U.S. Marshals Service, which has now shifted its search to Arkansas.
John Charles McCluskey and his alleged accomplice, fiancée and cousin, Casslyn Welch, may have dyed her hair blonde as the pair continues to elude pursuing officers.
On Wednesday the Marshals Service release photos of McCluskey and Welch altered to show them as they may appear now. Welch also may be thinner than she appears to be in her driver's license photo.
A second escapee, Tracey Province, was captured Monday near Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. McCluskey and Welch were believed to have continued north with the search focused around Glacier National Park in Montana and in the neighboring Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
However the Marshals Service now reports McCluskey and Welch are suspected in an armed robbery Wednesday morning in Gentry, Ark. Gentry is in northwest Arkansas nearly 1,600 miles from St. Mary, Mont., where the couple was spotted on Sunday.
Welch's mother also lives near Gentry.
McCluskey, Province and Welch have been linked to the murder of a vacationing Oklahoma couple whose remains were found in a burned camper trailer near Santa Rosa last week, according to New Mexico State Police.
McCluskey, Province and a third inmate captured in Colorado escaped from a privately operated prison near Kingman, Ariz., on July 30. Welch is believed to have thrown wire cutters over the perimeter fence to aid in the escape.