Killers Richard Matt and David Sweat have been missing since June 6th, when they disappeared from their cells in the Clinton Correctional Facility upstate, but now authorities believe they are just 30 miles from the prison. The prisoners' DNA and fingerprints from items like bloody socks and prison-issued underwear were found at a camp site in Owls Head. Yesterday, a source told the Press-Republican, "The dogs have got a good track, and we are tightening the perimeter, so within the next 24 to 48 hours, we're confident they will be caught."
Matt, 48, and Sweat, 34, are considered very dangerous—Sweat was serving a life sentence for killing a sheriff's deputy while Matt was serving 25 years to life for killing and dismembering his boss. A civilian employee in the prison's tailor shop, Joyce Mitchell, is in custody for helping them escape the maximum security prison; apparently she smuggled tools in hamburger meat.
A restaurant owner in Mountain View told The Adirondack Daily Enterprise that a customer of his was interviewed by the police for two hours on Saturday. Earlier that day, the customer had gone to check on his cabin a mile in from the road, and he saw a man running away. Once inside the cabin, he found a water jug and an open peanut butter jar on the table. The customer did not get a good look at the man, the restaurant owner said.
The escapees seemed to be taking a page from the playbook of Ralph Phillips, known as Bucky, a convicted murderer who escaped from a jail outside Buffalo in 2006 and eluded capture for months by breaking into unoccupied homes, lodges and hunting camps.
NY State Police Maj. Charles Guess said that they were searching many camps (and asked anyone with a seasonal camp to "be on high alert"). The Buffalo News adds, "Guess also put out a plea to anyone in the area with trail cameras that captured any footage of suspicious activity to report it immediately to the authorities."
Mitchell's husband appeared on the Today Show to discuss his wife's situation. Lyle Mitchell said that she was supposed to be their getaway driver; Matt even allegedly gave her pills to slip her husband. But he said she had a change of heart: "When it came down to her hurtin' me, that's when she said something was wrong. She said she was in too deep, she didn't know how to get out of it."
However, he denied reports that his wife had sexual relationships with both Sweat and Matt. He insisted, "We never fight. We're together, I'll bet you, 95 percent of the time. We work together, we never leave the house unless we're together."
Lyle Mitchell, who also works at the prison, also described how he found out his wife was involved in the escape: "An investigator comes out and says, 'Mr Mitchell, your wife is more involved than what she's lettin' on'. I asked her what was going on. She said, 'I just — I did some things … and I got over my head.' I didn't know what to say. I was just … disbelief, shock."
He's not sure if he'll testify against her, telling Today's Matt Lauer, "As of right now, I don't know what to think. I do not know... Do I still love her? Yes. Am I mad? Yes. How could she do this? How could she do this to our kids?"