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Search For Escaped Murderers To Expand, Police Say

A state trooper inspects the truck of a car near the upstate Clinton Correctional Facility.
A state trooper inspects the truck of a car near the upstate Clinton Correctional Facility. Photo Credit: New York State Police
Escaped murderers Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34
Escaped murderers Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34 Photo Credit: New York State Police
Joyce Mitchell
Joyce Mitchell Photo Credit: New York State Police

DANNEMORA, N.Y. -- New York State Police announced Tuesday that the search for escaped inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat is expanding and shifting to other areas surrounding Dannemora.

Personnel will be redeployed to other areas based upon information gathered during the investigation. People in the region should expect to see law enforcement in their community as the search expands, police said.

With no fresh leads in four days, the search has gone cold, according to reports.

Joyce Mitchell, the prison worker charged with aiding in the prisoners' escape, was described as distraught and weepy when her husband, Lyle, visited her in jail on Tuesday.

Mitchell made an agreement with Matt and Sweat that once out of prison, they would kill her husband, according to CBS News. Mitchell, 51, told authorities the reason she didn't follow through with the plan was that she became worried about her husband, CBS News is reporting, citing a law enforcement source.

State troopers, along with Officers and Forest Rangers from the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, the FBI, U.S. Marshals, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Clinton, Franklin and Essex County Sheriff Departments and the Plattsburgh Police Department have searched more than 16 square miles (10,228 acres) to date. All available assets continue to be deployed around the clock, including K9 and aviation units. More than 1,200 leads have been developed at this point in the investigation, police said.

In connection with this redeployment, patrolling of Route 374 east of Dannemora will change. The section of Route 374 that was closed to traffic in Cadyville will reopen Tuesday night, police said.

The road closed last Wednesday after New York State Police K9 units picked up the scent of both suspects at different locations in a heavily wooded area adjacent to the road. This area has been extensively searched, and evidence recovered suggests that the escaped inmates may have spent time there.

The ground search of this immediate area will be scaled back but patrols will continue. Law enforcement personnel previously manning the roadblocks along the closed section of Route 374 will be shifted to other sectors.

The public should not hesitate to report any suspicious activity including any signs of a trespass, burglary or vehicle larceny. Contact 911, your local law enforcement agency, or the New York State Police to report any information related to this investigation at (518) 563-3761 or 1-800-GIVETIP. Tips can also be sent by email to crimetip@troopers.ny.gov.

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