The manhunt for the two convicted murderers who escaped from an upstate prison last weekend has continued into its sixth day, and authorities seem as confused as ever as to where the two men might be. "I have no information on where they are or what they're doing, to be honest with you," New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico said at a press conference yesterday outside the Clinton Correctional in Dannemora.
The search has been expanded to Vermont after authorities say they learned the two men—Richard Matt and David Sweat—had talked before last weekend's breakout about going to the state. "We have information that suggests they thought New York was going to be hot. Vermont would be cooler, in terms of law enforcement," Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said at the press conference, though he didn't explain how they learned this information. That search is focusing on lake and campsites near Lake Champlain.
At the same time, the search has also stretched to Philadelphia after a cab driver reported picking up two men who matched the descriptions of Matt and Sweat yesterday. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey noted that such possible sightings "have been reported in several cities."
But CNN also reports that there is "growing confidence" that police dogs have picked up the scent of the killers about three miles from the maximum-security prison. They also have found an imprint either from a shoe or boot, as well as a food wrapper in the area. They note that they are looking into the possibility that the two men have separated.
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. During their escape, they managed to cut through their cell's steel walls, traverse the catwalks in the prison's infrastructure, hack into a steam pipe that wasn't in use, 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.
Matt's son, Nick Harris, told a local newspaper that his father is a smart man who can adapt to situations: "Yeah, it's a lot to register and comprehend," he said. "First, it's just shocking. Nobody would really expect that. It might just be in his nature. It's not the first, he escaped from Attica too so, I don't know."
One of Matt's former accomplices says he fears for his life while the killer is free. The man, whose name wasn't released, told NBC that he testified against Matt at trial, and now thinks he might come at him and harm "people that I love, people that are close to me."
"There’s no telling what kind of revenge he might want to exact,” the former friend told NBC. “This is a very psychotic individual."