Hundreds of searchers focused their efforts on checking ATV trails, logging roads, and even went door-to-door in far northern New York trying to track down two inmates who escaped from a maximum-security prison more than two weeks ago.
Prompted by new evidence, law enforcement officials methodically combed through heavy woods on Tuesday searching for inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt.
Authorities began committing heavy resources to scouring remote woods this week after leads from a hunting camp that was apparently broken into led to “good evidence, DNA data” regarding the two murderers, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, ABC News reported.
Roadblocks were set in place Tuesday around the remote hamlets of Owls Head and Mountain View in an area of rugged terrain about 20 miles west of Clinton County Correctional Facility.
Investigators conducted grid searches in thick, mosquito-ridden forests and also checked railroad beds, said Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill. He said people were going to seasonal homes looking for signs of intrusion.
“If they’re here, we’re going to find them,” Mulverhill said. “I really believe it’s going to come down to old-fashioned police work and the public.”
Cuomo said, “I believe we will get these guys.” But the governor also warned that they’ve had a number of leads and more than 1,000 officers involved in the search and plan to follow each lead as though it’s the one that will bring authorities to capture the escapees.
Sweat and Matt escaped from the Dannemora-area prison on June 6. Authorities say the duo cut through the steel wall at the back of their cell, crawled down a catwalk, broke through a brick wall, cut their way into and out of a steam pipe, then sliced through the chain and lock on a manhole cover outside the prison to escape.
Sweat, 35, was serving a life sentence without parole for killing a sheriff’s deputy while Matt, 48, was serving 25 years to life for the 1987 kidnapping, torture, and dismemberment of his former boss.