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Police Swarm Upstate NY Town in Search for Escaped Killers

  • VOA News

FILE - New York State Police photos show inmates David Sweat, left, and Richard Matt, who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y., June 6, 2015.

FILE - New York State Police photos show inmates David Sweat, left, and Richard Matt, who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y., June 6, 2015.

Police in New York state continued searching Tuesday for two convicted killers after a reported sighting of the men walking along a road in a driving rainstorm the night before.

Dozens of police armed with rifles walked through farms and fields near the town of Willsboro, just west of Lake Champlain, as they tried to apprehend the murderers, David Sweat, 34, and Richard Matt, 48. Authorities say they believe the two men are on foot after a daring escape early Saturday from adjacent cells in the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility, about a 30-minute drive from the U.S.-Canada border.

The search was prompted after Willsboro residents reported seeing a couple of men Monday night walking down a road, not dressed for the rainstorm, and then running into the woods.

Authorities are offering a $100,000 reward for information that leads to their capture. Guards discovered the convicted killers were missing early Saturday from the prison in Dannemora, New York.

Investigators questioned prison workers and outside contractors to try to find out who may have supplied power tools or other assistance used in the escape, while law officers questioned drivers and searched trunks at checkpoints near the prison. Questions have also been raised about why the noise did not draw the attention of prison staff or other inmates.

Convicted of first degree murder for the 2002 death of a sheriff's deputy, Sweat was serving a life sentence. Matt, who faced 25 years to life in prison on murder, kidnapping and robbery charges, also has a connection to Mexico, where he was convicted of killing a man while on the run after allegations in the United States that he dismembered his boss in 1997. He has a tattoo on his back that reads "Mexico Forever."

Alongside prison staff, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo examined the escape route the two men carved with power tools from their cell to a manhole cover in a nearby street.

They "definitely had help," Cuomo told NBC in an interview.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police advised officers to be on the lookout close to the border, The Associated Press reported.

Some material for this report came from AP.

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