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Police: AZ Escaped Con Planned 'Suicide by Bear


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP/The Blaze) — A convicted killer who escaped from an Arizona prison says his plan was to overdose on heroin at Yellowstone National Park and let bears eat him. Tracy Province told a sheriff's detective about his plan after he was captured in August and returned to Arizona.

According to a Mohave County sheriff's report, Province planned to shoot a gram of heroin and become bear food. He says he didn't follow through because of divine intervention and because Yellowstone was too cold.

Province told authorities he then tried to hitchhike to Indiana to see his family. He was captured Aug. 9 in Wyoming, 10 days after he and two others escaped from a minimum-security prison near Kingman, Ariz.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal first reported the interview Thursday.

According to police authorities, Province asked fellow convict John McCluskey and their alleged accomplice, Casslyn Mae Welch, to drive him to Yellowstone in Wyoming from New Mexico where the trio faces capital murder and carjacking charges.

Back in Arizona, Province has pleaded guilty to charges of escape, kidnapping, aggravated assault and armed robbery and will be sentenced Friday before being transported to face charges in New Mexico.

Province returned to police custody on Aug. 9 in Meeteetse, Wyo., just steps from a church where he sat in the pews and sang "Your Grace is Enough."  A woman from the church's congregation recognized his photograph during a television report.

Al Nash, a spokesman at Yellowstone National Park, said it's certainly possible that Province's plan to let bears eat him would work, but it struck him as improbable.

"We have a fair number of bears in the ecosystem," Nash said. "They eat about anything. A bear would rather get an easy meal than a difficult meal, but human bear encounters are very infrequent."

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