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Authorities Beef Up Search For Killers Who Escaped From New York Prison

A massive manhunt for two killers who escaped from a prison in upstate New York has expanded to Vermont, where authorities learned the inmates talked of going before their jailbreak, but officials acknowledged that they have no firm leads.

David Sweat and Richard Matt, convicted murderers, made a complex and daring escape last weekend from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y., and there has been no sign of them since.

"I have no information on where they are or what they're doing, to be honest with you," State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico says.

However, North Country Public Radio reports that West Plattsburg in Clinton County, has also been a location of an intense search.

NCPR says:

"Multiple news sources, including the Plattsburgh Press Republican, report portions of Highway 374 were closed overnight and local residents were urged to stay indoors and keep their lights on outside their homes.

"Yesterday, State Police Captain John Tibbets said authorities continue to chase leads in Clinton and Essex Counties and in Vermont. 'Any time we get a lead of this kind, where there is a potential sighting, we are going to run it into the ground,' he said." says: "A helicopter was hovering over the area early Thursday morning. Schools in the Saranac Central School District are closed in relation to the ongoing search."

On Wednesday, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said at the news conference with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that authorities have "information that suggests [Sweat and Matt] thought New York was going to be hot. Vermont would be cooler, in terms of law enforcement."

USA Today quotes Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn as saying that Vermont State Police "have begun searching camps along the Vermont shoreline of Lake Champlain, but have turned up no sign of the escapees so far."

As Bill reported for the Two-Way on Wednesday, Cuomo confirmed that police were questioning a woman who worked at the prison about the breakout.

The New York Times adds:

"The employee, Joyce Mitchell, worked in a tailor shop at the Clinton Correctional Facility ... She is believed to have aided the escapees ... and was expected to face charges soon, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

"Ms. Mitchell 'befriended the inmates and may have had some sort of role in assisting them,' Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico of the New York State Police said. He declined to give further details."

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