Home / National News / NY Prison Escape: Manhunt Shifts to Area West of Prison


(DANNEMORA, N.Y.) — Search crews increased their presence Sunday in Franklin County, northern New York, in the hunt for escaped convicts Richard Matt and David Sweat, ABC News has learned.

Authorities are investigating whether the inmates stayed at a hunting camp following their escape from Clinton Correctional Facility on June 6, after a person was seen fleeing from the camp, a law enforcement source close to the investigation told ABC News.

A business owner in Mountain View – a hamlet in Bellmont, Franklin County, west of Dannemora where the men escaped – told ABC News that roadblocks were set up and police had been in the area.

The primary focus of the search continues to be the Dannemora area.

New York State Police plan to hold a briefing at noon Monday to discuss updates in the search for Matt and Sweat.

Earlier, an increased police presence was reported in Friendship, New York – in the southern part of the state – after a witness reported a possible sighting of the men on Saturday.

A witness called police saying she spotted two men who fit the description of Matt and Sweat on a railroad line along Route 20 in Friendship near the Pennsylvania border Saturday at 1:16 p.m., state police Major Michael Cerretto said at a news conference.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said “one possibility” is that Matt and Sweat “are riding the rails,” explaining there is a long train line that connects across southern New York they may have ridden.

The U.S. Marshals Service has also placed Sweat and Matt on the 15 most wanted fugitives list and is also offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to their capture, police said.

The convicts used power tools to cut through the back of their adjacent cells on June 6, broke through a brick wall, then cut into a steam pipe and slithered through it, finally emerging outside the prison walls through a manhole, authorities said.

Matt was serving 25 years to life at Clinton Correctional in Dannemora, New York, after he kidnapped and beat a man to death in 1997. Sweat was serving a life sentence after he was convicted of killing a Broome County sheriff’s deputy in 2002.

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