As the manhunt continues for the pair of convicted murderers who escaped the Clinton Correction Facility in upstate New York, sources say the investigation is focusing on a worker at the prison who may have facilitated the breakout.
The Post reports, "It’s an employee being questioned," a high-level source told the NY Post. The source says the employee, who is not a guard, has been suspended from her post. Others sources tell the tabloid the worker may have been "wooed" by one of the escaped prisoners, Richard Matt, 48.
The source says of Matt, "He has a way with the ladies," and retired detective David Bentley, who investigated the 1987 murder of a businessman that landed Matt at Clinton, "When [Matt’s] cleaned up, he’s very handsome and, in all frankness, very well endowed. He gets girlfriends anyplace he goes."
Matt and David Sweat, 34, were unaccounted for at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. They had crafted dummies out of sweatshirts, placing them in their beds and managed to crawl out holes from their cells—holes created by power tools—and into the prison's infrastructure of tunnels and catwalks, emerging from a manhole outside the prison. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has announced a $100,000 reward for their capture, said, "We went back and pieced together what they did. It was elaborate. It was sophisticated. It encompassed drilling through steel walls and pipes, so this was not easily accomplished...When you look at how the operation was done, it was extraordinary."
While Sweat had been serving a life sentence without parole for killing a Broome County sheriff's deputy, Matt was serving a 25 year sentence for the killing of a William L. Rickerson in 1997. Rickerson had been dismembered, and a former investigator told the NY Times, "A lot of people get killed. Not many killers take the time to dismember the body."
Another retired captain, Gabriel DiBernardo, said, "You can never have enough security with him. You can never trust him. You can never turn your back on him...He’s certainly not a dumb individual. He’s a cunning individual, and a strong individual, physically strong. There’s no question he can handle himself." and Bentley emphasized, "I’m very concerned that people are going to get hurt the longer he’s out. I’ve seen him inflict wounds on himself, cut himself; break his collarbone and not seek any treatment. He’s just totally, totally fearless, and doesn’t respond to pain."
Investigators suspect that the prisoners used contractors' tools to help them. A source told the Post, "There was major construction at the prison — a bunch of work crews for a variety of projects. They are looking into every aspect of these crews, any connections they might have to these two prisoners. Was it a relative or a friend? Look at the cuts that they made in the pipes. They are perfect, clean. That’s not normal — they had some help."
Another source said that the pair "had help on the inside, and they could just have easily had help on the outside... To do all that, it would have to take weeks, if not months. This was well-planned and thought out for some time."
The Daily News notes, "Dubbed 'Little Siberia' by locals, the prison houses nearly 3,000 inmates, guarded by about 1,400 correction officers. Surrounded by farmland and forests, the prison is only about a 45-minute drive by car to Montreal."