New York State Police are continuing to search today in homes in the village of Dannemora, NY for the two convicted murderers who managed to escape from an upstate NY maximum security prison. However, it's safe to say at this point that law-enforcement really has no idea exactly where the men, Richard Matt and David Sweat, are. And the NYPD apparently doesn't think it's out of the realm of possibility that they may be headed to our area as well—they sent out bulletins today warning New Yorkers to "be on the lookout" for the well-endowed killers.
The men were last tracked to the Essex County town of Willsboro after a "credible tip" from a civilian, but that trail has apparently gone cold. Police in upstate NY fear that a shootout is likely in the cards if the men get their hands on guns while on the run: "They are the worst of the worst," an official told the Buffalo News. "There is a big concern if they become armed. Not only do they have the potential for violence, they already have a history of violence that is rarely seen outside of the movies."
Sweat, 34, was imprisoned for life for killing a sheriff's deputy in Broome County, and Matt, 48, was serving a 25-year sentence for killing and dismembering an upstate businessman when the two escaped. They managed to cut through their cell's steel walls, traverse the catwalks in the prison's infrastructure, cut through a steam pipe, and finally climb out through a manhole on the other side of the prison walls.
The prison realized they were missing after a 5:30 a.m. bed check this past Saturday when guards realized the bodies in their beds were actually dummies made out of sweatshirts. The pair are reportedly in civilian clothes, not prison clothes, because they were in the "Honor Block" at Clinton Correctional in Dannemora.
More details have emerged about the crazy escape: it seems the two men had access to the inner catwalks and passages of the prison for about a month before their escape. This helps explain how they were prepared to improvise in the tunnels as they made their way out sometime Friday night into Saturday morning.
Authorities are still trying to determine the role of the female worker at the prison who may have facilitated the breakout. Matt had reportedly seduced the woman, Joyce Mitchell, who has worked at the prison since 2010 as an industrial training supervisor at Clinton's tailor shop. She went to a hospital this weekend because of "panic attacks"—investigators now believe she panicked and backed out of a plan to act as a getaway driver for the two men.
Mitchell is one of several prison employees who has been questioned in the case. She has given a statement and is being "somewhat cooperative," a source said. She has not been charged.
Her cell phone was used to call several people connected to Matt, another source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN. It's unclear who made the calls or when the calls were made. Authorities are trying to determine whether Mitchell was aware her phone was being used.