Cadyville, NY, a Focus as Manhunt for Escaped Killers Continues – Wall Street Journal

A helicopter buzzes over a neighborhood near Cadyville, N.Y. as authorities swarmed the area on Thursday.

CADYVILLE, N.Y.—The hunt for the two convicted murderers who escaped from an upstate New York state prison intensified in this small locale Thursday.

Authorities said police dogs had picked up a scent, and potential signs emerged that the two inmates had been sleeping in a heavily wooded area approximately five miles wide. There was an unconfirmed report of a sighting, which a law-enforcement official downplayed.

“At the moment it’s our number one lead,” the law-enforcement official said, declining to elaborate. “We are aggressively investigating this area based on the lead that was developed.”

Police swarmed Cadyville, roughly 5 miles southeast of the Clinton Correctional Facility where Richard Matt, 48 years old, and David Sweat, 34, escaped some time last Friday or early Saturday. Authorities set up a perimeter overnight that blocked off a portion of Route 374 which runs east of Dannemora, N.Y., home to the prison.

Authorities said that two police helicopters were using infrared sensors buzzed over a residential area in Cadyville, as officers blocked residential streets and rural roads in a neighborhood sandwiched between the Saranac River and a dense wooded area. Police rode all-terrain vehicles into one neighborhood, where officers stood guard with rifles earlier in the day.

A country road parallel to a state highway was teeming with heavily armed law-enforcement officers every few hundred feet. Some were standing in the woods, and there was at least one black armored military-style vehicle.

More than 500 law-enforcement personnel, including members of the FBI, U.S. Marshals, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, officers from state environmental and corrections departments and local sheriffs’ departments, were involved in combing the area, state police said Thursday.

Some residents were staying indoors, some elected to leave the area in their cars, while others stood on their front lawns watching the commotion.

A police helicopter circled low near Ed Dubray’s home in Cadyville. “It’s been flying lower than usual in the past few days and more often,” said Mr. Dubray, a retired correctional officer who used to work at Clinton Correctional Facility.

He said he has been searching his property daily for signs of intruders.

“I wish they’d catch the guys,” Mr. Dubray said. “There’s people in danger obviously. I’m a little leery about what’s going on, certainly on my property and my family, just like everybody is I’m sure.”

Resident John St. Germain, 76 years old, said he received a robocall Wednesday evening instructing him to lock his windows and turn on all of his exterior lights.

He said he doesn’t mind the increased law-enforcement presence, but would rather the manhunt intensify elsewhere. “You wished it wasn’t here in the neighborhood,” he said.

Earlier, a state police spokesman said authorities were aggressively checking a lead developed by a K-9 unit and were searching a heavily wooded area of about five square miles.

On Wednesday, officials said they were expanding their search to Vermont because their investigation indicated the pair may have eyed that state as a destination.

In a morning news conference Thursday, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin assured the public authorities were following leads, increasing police presence and “working tirelessly to try to get these two criminals back behind bars.”

Mr. Shumlin and public safety officials who appeared with him said they had no new information about the escapees’ whereabouts, and so far, no credible leads showing the men were hiding in Vermont. But they urged the public to remain on heightened alert.

“These are bad guys,” Mr. Shumlin said. “They will do whatever it takes to maintain their freedom and if that means harming you, that won’t bother them much.”

A tip that the escapees had been spotted near Burton Island in Lake Champlain hadn’t panned out, he said, adding authorities were following every significant lead.

He said the public would notice an increased police presence, particularly along the water and in remote areas.

Mr. Shumlin said the men had apparently talked about going to Vermont because they believed the police presence wasn’t as large and threatening as other places. “We are quickly changing that for them,” he said.

The new focus on the Cadyville area came after police have been searching Dannemora and the nearby town of Willsboro in recent days.

Write to Andrew Tangel at


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