National

Aug 20, 2010 11:47 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Ranger who helped nab fugitives hailed as hero

A forest ranger is being hailed as a "true hero" for alertly spotting a pair of fugitives, ending a three-week manhunt. A heavily armed law enforcement contingent arrested the pair.

John McCluskey and Casslyn Welch were captured at an Arizona campsite.

The fugitives' ruse began to crumble about 4 p.m. Thursday when a U.S. Forest Service ranger investigated what appeared to be an unattended campfire. He approached the couple and later notified authorities, who swarmed the campsite about three hours later.

Apache County Sheriff Joseph Dedman said Friday that the ranger is "a true hero. He was out there doing his job."

It's not clear where the fugitives traveled while on the run.

They are suspected in several crimes, including the killing of a couple in New Mexico.

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