Sources: Scent picked up, wrappers found in hunt for escaped killers – CNN

(CNN)Law enforcement on Thursday converged on a site in upstate New York where bloodhounds picked up the scent of what authorities suspect came from convicted murderers-turned-prison escapees Richard Matt and David Sweat, sources said.

A large-perimeter search area has been set up around this hit, which is about 3 miles from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, according to a state official and another source briefed on the investigation. Guards found out about Matt and Sweat’s escape from the maximum-security prison during a bed check at 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

In addition to the scent, investigators also found an imprint either from a shoe or boot, as well as multiple food wrappers in the area, one of the two sources said. And Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie said that possible bedding — in the form of an indent in grass or leaves — has also been discovered.

If this all came from the fugitives, how long did they spend there, and how long ago were they there? That’s all still to be determined, though former FBI agent Jonathan Gilliam says this is still a “good clue” because it indicates Matt and Sweat weren’t picked up right away and might have to resort to crime now in order to survive.

“If they are not good in the woods, it’s an instant trap when they get out,” Gilliam, also a onetime Navy SEAL, told CNN. “… If you have to steal food or steal a car, that’s going to leave more clues.”

Thomas LaSalle, who has been told to stay locked in his house as authorities do their work, said this is rugged terrain with fallen trees, moss-covered boulders and thick forest everywhere. Even as a Scout growing up, he and others knew never to tackle this country for more than a day or two at a time.


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