MALONE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Members of the Washington County Sheriff’s office were among the hundreds of law enforcement who maneuvered through miles of dense, wooded terrain to find two escaped convicts.
The Washington County Sheriff’s office received a call on Tuesday morning to send six officers and K-9 Nass on the search for two fugitives. They set up camp just south of where Richard Matt and David Sweat were taken down.
“First day, we are operating in the woods north of where DNA was collected on a water bottle,” Captain Bryn Reynolds said.
Capt. Reynolds and his team were armed every step of the way. They cleared miles of brush looking for the two escapees logging 10-12 miles a day through some of the toughest terrain.
“Some of the most varied terrain I’ve ever been in,” he said. “Extremely dense.”
The men carried about 40 pounds of gear on them, including a hydration pouch, fire starting kit and night goggles. They also checked seasonal homes and campers.
“We treated as if there were two suspects with guns in these camps,” Reynolds said. “Any evidence they had perhaps been rifling through something looking for supplies or clothing.”
And camping near the bad guys left no time to let their guard down.
“They were there, obviously,” Reynolds said. “They could have been around the next tree, next room you went into.”
But there was one good thing on their side – the rain on Sunday.
“Your movement is quiet,” Reynolds explained. “People are concentrating on how miserable they are.”
The long days and nights began to wear down on the men.
“We got out of the woods after one particular movement,” Reynolds said. “Everyone was tired and hungry.”
But support from the community showed even more.
“Minivan stopped in the middle of nowhere, and she had boxes of cheeseburgers, mini pies and sweet teas for us,” he said.
Officials were prepared to send another team to northern New York on Sunday, but they weren’t needed as Matt was shot and killed on Friday, and Sweat was captured on Sunday.
Sweat was sent to Albany Medical Center for treatment where he is listed in serious condition.