Clinton Co. escapees received tools from prison employee

DANNEMORA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Law enforcement sources say a prison employee provided tools to two convicted killers who escaped from the Clinton Correctional facility last weekend.

Sources tell CNN Joyce Mitchell gave hacksaw blades to the inmates, as well as eyeglasses with lights attached to them. Richard Matt and David Sweat have now been on the run for seven days.

Richard Matt, David Sweat
This combination made from photos released by the New York State Police shows inmates David Sweat, left, and Richard Matt. Authorities on Saturday, June 6, 2015 said Sweat, 34, and Matt, 48, both convicted murderers, escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y. (New York State Police via AP)

The District Attorney for the area tells CNN Mitchell is talking to authorities.

“I can’t speak for Miss Mitchell, but she may feel some responsibility and guilt for her involvement and she wants to help that situation or help herself out in her situation.  She could face conspiracy for escape and she could also be dealing with providing prison contraband.  She’s aware that there’s these charges that are obviously going to be filed or can be filed against her.  She continues to cooperate.  We see this every day in multifaceted investigations.  So it’s just another aspect of this case,” said Andrew Wylie, Clinton County D.A.

On Friday, investigators say the focus of the investigation has been centered on a Mobil Gas Station that’s actually just right down the road of where our NEWS 10 crews are.

ABC News is saying bloodhounds were able to pick up a strong scent and that led police to believe they were there rummaging for food since there’s a subway inside.

Hundreds of Correctional Emergency Response Team members suited up in body armor and getting on busses at CCF
Hundreds of Correctional Emergency Response Team members suited up in body armor and getting on busses at CCF

Another update NEWS10 has been hearing is that the Saranac School District is still closed due to the search. The village and the town are open and will continue to do business as usual.

Earlier, a lot of correction officers were seen heading that way, but officials are not saying why. Multiple people are now being questioned in relation to Joyce Mitchell.

In Plattsburgh several officers with large rifles were seen standing in dark, wooded areas in case something was to happen. They’re still conducting check points on Route 374 and opening trunks and car doors as part of the inspection process.

Thursday’s search involved more than 500 law enforcement officers with the help of other agencies.

FILE - This file photo provided by New York State Governor's office shows the area where two convicted murderers used power tools to cut through steel pipes at the Clinton Correctional facility in Dannemora, N.Y. A licensed engineer who has done work at the Clinton Correctional facility where two killers escaped last weekend said the work of cutting through a cell wall and a steam pipe was done with a high degree of professionalism. Larry Jeffords, owner of Jeffords Steel and Engineering in upstate New York, told The Associated Press that convicts David Sweat, 34, and Richard Matt, 48, were either very proficient with the tools they used _ or they had help. (Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office, via AP, File)
FILE – This file photo provided by New York State Governor’s office shows the area where two convicted murderers used power tools to cut through steel pipes at the Clinton Correctional facility in Dannemora, N.Y. A licensed engineer who has done work at the Clinton Correctional facility where two killers escaped last weekend said the work of cutting through a cell wall and a steam pipe was done with a high degree of professionalism. Larry Jeffords, owner of Jeffords Steel and Engineering in upstate New York, told The Associated Press that convicts David Sweat, 34, and Richard Matt, 48, were either very proficient with the tools they used _ or they had help. (Darren McGee/New York State Governor’s Office, via AP, File)

Route 374 will remain closed off until further notice. So far, there has been no confirmed sightings of either of the men.

Joyce Mitchell works as a prison seamstress. State officials say they received a complaint about the relationship between Mitchell and one of the two escapees.

“She continues to cooperate, she continues to come in and speak with us. Each day, we are learning a little bit more information as to her involvement in this case and how she developed a relationship with the two men and eventually, you know, we came to last Saturday where it’s the date they make their decision to escape and, of course, as we all know now, Joyce Mitchell ends up in the hospital and is not there to assist the two individuals,” said DA  Wylie.

Mitchell’s relatives deny that she played a role in the breakout.

 

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