Are New York escaped prisoners bound for Pennsylvania? (+video)(Read article summary)
Escaped prisoners David Sweat and Richard Matt may have been spotted near the New York-Pennsylvania border, say N.Y. State Police.
Are the two convicts who escaped fro the prison in New York now in Pennsylvania?
New York State Police say that Clinton Correctional inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt were seen a week ago in Steuben County, N.Y., which is 300 miles southwest of the prison. And two men fitting their description were seen on foot near a rail yard in Erwin, N.Y., on June 13, and then seen the next day walking along along County Route 115 in Lindley, N.Y., heading toward the Pennsylvania border, according to a N.Y. State Police statement post late Friday.
Earlier this week, State Police investigators were in both communities conducting interviews in an effort to verify the sightings. The investigators have also obtained surveillance camera video of the two men, which was inconclusive. The video is now being sent to Albany for further analysis to determine if the lead is credible.
While this is an unconfirmed sighting, the State Police is asking residents who live in this area along the New York-Pennsylvania border to be on alert. If these men are spotted, please call 911 immediately. Do not approach, as both are considered to be very dangerous.
New York State is offering a reward of $50,000 for information that leads to the capture of either suspect ($100,000 for both). The U.S. Marshals Service has placed Sweat and Matt on their 15 Most Wanted Fugitives List, and is also offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to the capture of either suspect.
Police spokesman Beau Duffy told CNN on Saturday that the sightings were not reported to New York State Police until Tuesday. State police sent investigators at that time to the areas to conduct interviews, according to Duffy.
The two men escaped on June 6 by cutting through a steel wall and crawling through a steam pipe to a manhole on the street outside the prison. The manhunt has shifted from Canada, to Vermont, and even as far away as Mexico.
"We don't know if they're still in the area or if they are in Mexico by now,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference on June 14. “Enough time has transpired, but we're following up every lead the best we can."
The Christian Science Monitor reported that prison tailor shop instructor Joyce Mitchell has been charged with providing the two escapees with hacksaw blades, chisels, a punch and a screwdriver bit.
The power tools Matt and Sweat used to cut holes in their cell walls and a steam pipe apparently were provided by another accomplice or stolen from contractors working at the prison.
Officials say the plan was for Mrs. Mitchell to meet the men outside the prison walls and then drive them to a location several hours away, but she had a change of heart.
Since her arrest last week, Mrs. Mitchell, whose husband also works at the prison in Dannemora, N.Y., has been transferred to the Rensselaer County Correctional Facility about 150 miles away, officials said, in order to avoid the distraction of having her in the vicinity of the manhunt for Matt and Sweat.