Search for escaped convicts from New York prison enters seventh day – Reuters


NEW YORK Police hunting two escaped convicts for a seventh day on Friday swarmed the heavily wooded area near an upstate New York prison as more details unfolded about a female prison worker’s role in their breakout.

New York State Police used Facebook on Friday to broadcast a refined description of the convicted killers Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, changing details about their height, weight and hair color, and plastering the site with photographs of their tattoos.

Joyce Mitchell, an industrial training supervisor in the tailor shop at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, was being questioned about her possible role in helping the prisoners escape, authorities said.

Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie told CNN on Friday that Mitchell “provided some form of equipment or tools” to the men whose escape from the maximum security prison was discovered early Saturday. (CNN report here )

Mitchell was previously investigated by the Inspector General’s office of the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision after a co-worker filed a complaint about her seemingly close relationship with Matt, the Albany Times Union reported, citing two unnamed people with knowledge of the case. No disciplinary action resulted from the investigation.

Other prison employees are being questioned about possibly helping in the elaborate escape, which involved cutting through steel walls, squeezing through a steam pipe and out of a manhole, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday.

“We’re talking to several people who may have facilitated the escape,” Cuomo said.

If other prison workers are found to have assisted, the governor said, “you will be convicted and then you’ll be on the other side of the prison you have been policing.”

A search team of 500 law enforcement officers, along with sniffer dogs and aviation units, scoured woods on Friday just a few miles from the prison, located about 20 miles (32 km) south of the Canadian border, police said.

Schools in the Saranac Central School District remained closed for a second day, schools Superintendent Jonathan Parks said in a statement.

Police on Friday described Matt as 5 foot 10 inches (177 cm) and 190 pounds (86 kg) with brown hair and hazel eyes. Sweat is 5 foot 9 inches (175 cm) and 165 pounds (74 kg), with brown hair and green eyes.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Christian Plumb and Bernadette Baum)

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