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Saturday 3 December 2016

Escaped prisoners search continues

Published 12/06/2015 | 13:56

Wooded areas between Clinton Correctional Facility and Cadyville are being searched for two escaped inmates from the prison. (AP)
Wooded areas between Clinton Correctional Facility and Cadyville are being searched for two escaped inmates from the prison. (AP)

Police have begun a seventh day of trying to track down two murderers who escaped from a maximum-security prison in northern New York.

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Armed officers in body armor boarded New York state prison system buses soon after dawn in the village of Dannemora, where David Sweat and Richard Matt used power tools to cut their way out of their neighboring cells last weekend.

Meanwhile, suspicions swirl around a female prison employee believed to have had a role in the escape last weekend.

The hundreds of state, federal and local officers spent Thursday searching a swampy patch of woods just east of Dannemora after investigators received tips that the convicts were in the area. Tracking dogs had picked up the scent in the morning.

Investigators believe the prison employee had agreed to be the getaway driver, but never showed up, a person close to the case told The Associated Press.

Sweat, 34, and Matt, 48, cut through steel and bricks and crawled through an underground steam pipe. They emerged from a manhole outside the 40-foot walls of the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility, about 20 miles south of the Canadian border, and were discovered missing early on Saturday, authorities said.

The person close to the investigation said authorities believe Joyce Mitchell - an instructor at the prison tailor shop, where the two convicts worked - had befriended the men and was supposed to pick them up on Saturday morning.

Ms Mitchell has not been charged.

Matt was serving 25 years to life for the 1997 kidnap, torture and hacksaw dismemberment of his 76-year-old former boss, whose body was found in pieces in a river. After the killing, Matt fled to Mexico, where he killed a man outside a bar.

Sweat was doing life without parole for his part in the 2002 killing of sheriff's Deputy Kevin Tarsia, who was shot 15 times and run over after discovering Sweat and two accomplices transferring stolen guns between vehicles.

Press Association

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