Manhunt for escaped killers expands to Vermont – CNN

(CNN)A pair of convicted killers who escaped from an upstate New York prison may have headed across the border to Vermont, fearing the pressure of an intense manhunt in the neighboring state, authorities said Wednesday.

New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said authorities are looking “behind every tree, under every rock and inside every structure” for fugitives Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34. The pair made a brazen escape over the weekend from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora. The search — now in its fifth day — involves more than 400 law enforcement officers.

In a news conference outside the maximum-security prison about 20 miles south of the Canadian border, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said the search area had expanded to his state based on information the inmates believed “New York was going to be hot and Vermont … cooler in terms of law enforcement.”

Vermont state police vessels and additional troopers will conduct patrols on Lake Champlain, which cuts across the states. In addition, searches will include campsites and public campgrounds.

“We have information that would suggest that Vermont was discussed as a possible location,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at the same news conference. “If they are headed toward Vermont …Vermont is engaged and Vermont is mobilized and we are working hand in glove, and we will be coordinating several times a day to make sure every lead we have, every piece of information is shared.”

Under an agreement with Vermont, New York state troopers will be allowed across state lines if needed, officials said.

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