ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - One of two men who escaped from an Arizona prison late lastmonth has been linked to two murders that happened near Santa Rosathis week.
New Mexico State Police Major Robert Shilling said Saturday thatJohn McCluskey, 45, was linked through forensic evidence to charredremains found in a trailer near Santa Rosa Wednesday. MajorShilling declined to provide specifics and would not say whetherpolice think the other two people McCluskey is believed to betraveling with, Tracy Province, 42, and Casslyn Mae Welch, 44, areresponsible for the killings.
State Police said the trio is most likely still travelingtogether and is armed and extremely dangerous. Shilling said theycould be anywhere including New Mexico.
"The public needs to vigilant more than anything, " Shillingsaid. "Not alarmed, not scared, but vigilant, paying attention tosuspicious circumstances, suspicious individuals."
Province, McCluskey and Daniel Renwick escaped from themedium-security Arizona State Prison near Kingman on July 31 afterauthorities said Welch threw wire cutters over the perimeter fence.Renwick was arrested in Colorado on Aug. 1.
The badly burned skeletal remains were found by a rancher in acharred trailer. State Police have confirmed that an Oklahomacouple, Linda Haas, 61, and Gary Haas, 60, had owned the trailerand a pick-up truck that was found later abandoned in Albuquerque.Detectives are still waiting on positive identifications from theOffice of the Medical Investigator as to whether or not the charredremains are in fact those of Linda and Gary Haas.
Province and McCluskey were both serving time for murder.Province was incarcerated for the brutal stabbing death of anArizona man, Norman Knoblich, nearly 20 years ago. McCluskey wasserving time for second degree murder. His mother, ClaudiaWashburn, 68, was arrested Saturday in Arizona because she isbelieved to have helped the inmates get away. Authorities theresuspect her of giving the escapees financial and other types ofsupport.
A nationwide search is underway for the trio, investigatorsbelieve they may be a traveling in a 1997 platinum gold NissanSentra with Arizona license plate: 620PFV. Police are advising thepublic to call them and not to approach the trio because they areconsidered armed and extremely dangerous.
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