Family of Murdered Tecumseh Couple Relieved by Fugitives' Arrests

Friday, August 20th 2010, 11:45 am
By: News 9

By Adrianna Iwasinski, NEWS 9

TECUMSEH, Oklahoma -- The family of a Tecumseh couple who authorities said were murdered by fugitives from Arizona are relieved the suspects were arrested.

Talford Perkins Jr. said he's elated authorities have finally captured John McCluskey and Casslyn Welch. Both are wanted in connection with the death of Perkins' sister and brother-in-law.

"All the emotions came out. Laughing, crying, jumping up and down," Perkins said. "I told the New Mexico officer who called me about the capture that if he were here I would kiss him if I could."

The arrests brought an end to a three week nationwide manhunt.

"Thank God these Bonnie and Clyde wannabes did not get their moment in the sun," said a relieved Perkins. "They went out with a wimper."

Linda and Gary Haas of Tecumseh were on an annual camping trip to Colorado. Their bodies were found in their  trailer which had been burnt beyond recognition in Santa Rosa, New Mexico on August 4.

"Now we can put all this behind us and start moving on. Time will help heal us," said Perkins.

The bodies of Gary and Linda Haas were returned to Oklahoma on Thursday, the same day the fugitives were captured.

"There has to be some divine intervention there," Perkins said.

The family is planning a memorial service for Linda and Gary Haas in Oklahoma but said they will both be buried in their home state of Missouri.