Despite 10 Days of Searching, New York Prison Escapees Still on the Run

Monday was day 10 of the search for escaped murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat. They had both been serving time for murder before they busted out of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.

There were continued checkpoints on roads around the prison in Dannemora; more inspections of trunks. Law enforcement personnel were still posted along the dense woods just outside of Dannemora. Those woods have been the focus of the manhunt for the past several days.

There have been no confirmed sightings of Richard Matt or David Sweat here or anywhere else, the head prosecutor in Clinton County said Monday.

"We're still doing the push on the manhunt and trying to exhaust that to confirm if they're still in the area," district attorney Andrew Wylie said.

Matt and Sweat have been described as extremely dangerous and likely, very desperate. Matt dismembered a former boss and Sweat killed a sheriff's deputy.

Also Monday, New York State Police sent a dog into underground passageways outside the prison to check out the network of pipes and drains. The killers snaked through a sewer and popped out a manhole after carving their way through their cell walls, investigators have said.

Prison worker Joyce Mitchell is accused of smuggling the men escape tools, including hacksaw blades, chisels, a punch, and a screwdriver bit. She also allegedly agreed to be the getaway driver for the escapees before she backed out.

Sources say Matt charmed Mitchell and that she thought it was "love."

"I would never ever even attempt to want to let someone out, let alone fall in love with them," said Jennifer Desso of Dannemora. "It's just crazy."

Wylie said over the weekend that Mitchell had indicated she was originally to drive the men on a seven-hour journey that would require some off-roading.

Wylie declined to answer a reporter's question if that story could have been a ruse designed to throw police off course, but in comments to WPTZ-TV, Wylie previously described Mitchell as cooperative.

Monday, Mitchell's case got bumped up from city to county court, which Wylie explained handles serious felony charges.

She also got a new defense attorney, after her original lawyer told the court he had a conflict of interest.

Mitchell remains in jail, pending bail. Last week, she pled not guilty during an initial court appearance.

"If they could apprehend them, that would be so much better for the area," said Robert Dominic of Cadyville. "The police enforcement and all the correctional officers are doing a great job; they really are. But there's the element of the unknown."

Area residents are hoping for a breakthrough so their communities can start getting back to normal. Signs and blue ribbons hung around the area are their way of saying "thank you" to the 800 or so law enforcement officers working the case.

"It's got to end soon," said laundromat owner Heather O'Neill, describing the Cadyville and Dannemora area's desire to see the manhunt wrap up.

O'Neill expressed her gratitude for the hard work of law enforcement personnel. "They get a lot of heat and a lot of slack, but they're trudging through the woods--on cold, wet nights and days," O'Neill said. "It's a lot of work trying to keep us safe."

Anyone with information about the killers' whereabouts is asked to call 1-800-GIVE-TIP.

Wylie said he heard an early estimate that the search was costing taxpayers $1,000,000 a day, but he noted he has not been able to confirm that with the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-New York. 

Contact Us