CADYVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — 12 p.m.
Authorities searching 75 square miles of rugged northern New York terrain for two escaped murderers say they still don’t’ know for sure if the convicts are armed.
State police Maj. Charles Guess says Wednesday that searchers have always assumed that David Sweat and Richard Matt were likely armed after they used power tools to cut their way out of Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora on June 6.
Guess says weapons and ammunition are typically stored in many of the hundreds of hunting camps dotting the area near the Canadian border, but not everyone keeps an inventory of their firearms.
In response to a reporter’s question about whether a gun was taken from a cabin owned by several prison guards, Guess says he doesn’t have any information to confirm whether or not “a particular shotgun is missing.”
The search for two escaped murderers has spread into a northern New York village a few miles from where hundreds of officers have been scouring heavily wooded terrain since last weekend.
About 140 corrections officers have been transported in school buses Wednesday morning to Malone, about 8 miles north of the hamlets of Owls Head and Mountain View where authorities shifted the focus of the search for David Sweat and Richard Matt.
The officers are going door-to-door along the village outskirts as the search extends into a 19th day.
Sweat and Matt used power tools to cut their way out of Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, 30 miles southeast of Malone.
The search was concentrated last weekend to neighboring Franklin County to a rugged area 20 miles west of the prison.
Authorities say the prison employee charged with helping two murderers escape from a New York prison smuggled tools to them by hiding the items in frozen hamburger meat.
Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wiley has told reporters that Joyce Mitchell told investigators she put hacksaw blades and a screwdriver in the meat, then placed it in a refrigerator in the tailor shop where she worked at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.
Wiley says a corrections officer brought the meat to David Sweat and Richard Matt, who were housed in a section of the maximum-security prison where inmates are allowed to cook their own meals. The DA says the guard didn’t know the tools were inside the meat. He has been placed on paid leave.
Sweat and Matt used power tools to make their escape June 6 and remain at large Wednesday.
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