Two men convicted of murder managed to escape from Clinton Correctional Facility, a New York maximum security prison.
Prisoners Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, were discovered missing from their cell at 5:30 AM on June 6th. Instead of finding the prisoners in their beds, the guards found decoy dummies made out of sweatshirts.
How did they manage to do that in a maximum security facility?
Officer Anthony Annuci, a state correctional officer, said that the men “escaped through an elaborate series of tunnels.” They used power tools to cut through the prison’s steel walls and steam pipes until they reached a six-story-high catwalk. They scaled the catwalk, and then managed to escape through a manhole about a mile away.
Officials believe that the escapees had help from the inside. Joyce Mitchell, the 51-year-old supervisor for the prisoner’s tailor shop, is being questioned for her involvement.
Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico of the New York State Police alleged that she “befriended the inmates and may have had some role in assisting them,” reported the New York Times.
On Friday morning, the Clinton County DA, Andrew Wylie, said that Mitchell didn’t provide the power tools to the men, but did provide undisclosed “contraband” materials before they escaped.
The DA also said that this is not the first time Mitchell has been questioned – she was investigated for allegedly having a relationship with one of the men in the past. Not enough evidence was found to support the claim.
On Thursday, an anonymous source close to the investigation said that Mitchell had befriended the two men and agreed to be the getaway driver, but never showed up. The person was not authorized to discuss the case and spoke on condition of anonymity, according to the Associated Press.
Mitchell has not yet been arrested for her involvement with the escape.
Where are they now?
On Thursday morning, the police investigated a tip from a Philadelphia cab driver, who believed that he drove the two men to the airport. The police reviewed surveillance footage, which later disputed the tip.
Tracking dogs have also picked up the scent of the men near a Subway sandwich shop in a gas station about a mile away from the prison. They are reviewing the limited security tapes from the area.
$100,000 will be rewarded to anyone who has information on the men’s whereabouts.
Who Are The Escapees?
After being found guilty for three counts of murder, three counts of kidnapping and two counts of robbery, Richard Matt (right) was sentenced to 25 years to life. David Sweat (left) was found guilty of the murder of a Broome County Sheriff’s Deputy in 2002, and is sentenced to life without parole.
Stay tuned to 20something for updates on the manhunt!