Small town sweep for escaped killers comes up empty

Reports of two men walking along a road brought hundreds of law enforcement officers to a small town in the Adirondack foothills for a sweep

This combination made from photos released by the New York State Police shows inmates David Sweat, left, and Richard Matt. Authorities on Saturday, June 6, 2015 said Sweat, 34, and Matt, 48, both convicted murderers, escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y. (New York State Police via AP)

This combination made from photos released by the New York State Police shows inmates David Sweat, left, and Richard Matt. Authorities on Saturday, June 6, 2015 said Sweat, 34, and Matt, 48, both convicted murderers, escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y. (New York State Police via AP) (6/10/15)

WILLSBORO, N.Y. - Reports of two men walking along a road brought hundreds of law enforcement officers to a small town in the Adirondack foothills for a sweep that seemingly turned up no signs of two killers who escaped from a maximum-security prison, but state police said leads continued to be generated and there would be an increased police presence in the area.
    
The hunt that began over the weekend focused Tuesday on Willsboro, close to Lake Champlain, after residents reported seeing a couple of men walking on a road late Monday during a driving rainstorm.
    
Authorities have fielded numerous tips since the breakout from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, about 20 miles from the Canadian border, but appeared to have focused most on this one.
    
Searchers walked shoulder-to-shoulder, wearing bulletproof vests and carrying sidearms as they went through hilly woods, fields and swamps, checking every home, garage, shed and outbuilding, then yelling, "Clear!" when there were no signs of the inmates.
    
By early evening, it appeared the sweep had come up empty, and there was no confirmation from police that the escaped convicts had been there. State Police said more than 400 corrections and other law enforcement officers were in the area and planned to go door to door, checking homes and seasonal camps.

David Sweat, 34, and Richard Matt, 48, cut through a steel wall, broke through bricks and crawled through a steam pipe before emerging through a manhole outside the prison grounds.
    
They were discovered missing early Saturday after stuffing their beds with clothes to fool guards on their rounds and leaving behind a taunting note: "Have a nice day."
    
There was speculation that the inmates had arranged for someone to pick them up outside the prison and were long gone from the area, even in Canada or as far as Mexico.
    
The escape from the 3,000-inmate state prison has raised suspicions the men had help on the inside.
    
Investigators have been questioning prison workers and outside contractors to try to find out who may have supplied the power tools. Contractors have been doing extensive renovations at the 170-year-old prison, a hulking, fortress-like structure that looms over Dannemora's main street.
    
A $100,000 reward has been posted for information leading to the men's capture.

Sweat was convicted in the 2002 killing of a sheriff's deputy and was doing life without parole. Matt was serving 25 years to life for kidnapping and dismembering his boss in 1997.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

VIDEO: March to help seniors apply to college 1 VIDEO: March to help seniors apply to college
Brooklyn Weekend Travel Advisory, Dec. 10-11 2 Brooklyn Weekend Travel Advisory, Dec. 10-11
3 VIDEO: Interview with friend of East NY throat slashing victim
Some flavors offered were strawberry and tamarind. 4 Parade participants partake in snow cones
Police say three suspects robbed a livery cab 5 Police: 3 suspects rob livery cab driver

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

Officials say 48-year-old Richard Matt and 34-year-old David Police search for 2 men who escaped from prison

New York State Police continue a massive manhunt for two convicted murders who escaped a

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE