As the two New York escaped prisoners remain on the run, authorities lifted the lockdown today on Clinton Correctional Facility, the prison where convicts David Sweat and Richard Matt escaped earlier this month. They’ve also expanded the search area.
The Wall Street Journal reports that although authorities aren’t any closer yet to capturing Matt, 48, and Sweat, 35, the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision ended an almost two-week lockdown at the prison after searching every inch of the area to find the escaped inmates.
The manhunt for the two fugitives is still ongoing, but despite massive search efforts, a New York state official indicated on Monday that the trail to find the two prisoners had gone cold. The New York State Police released updated photos of the duo, depicting what they probably look like today.
Yet, even after searching thoroughly, police state that there is no evidence to indicate that the escaped prisoners have left the area. Maj. Charles Guess states that authorities are now checking out surveillance cameras along highways and interstates, gas stations, rail lines, and rest areas.
“Since we’ve closed the perimeter box, after thoroughly sweeping that area, our intention is to look at the viable high-speed avenues of egress from Dannemora prison facility to points in all directions. We’re not ruling anything out.”
However, Capt. Robert LaFountain states that although there are no facts to substantiate that the inmates left the area, that doesn’t mean they are still there. Yet at the same time, residents are still urged to not let their guard down and to keep their doors locked.
“We have no information that they have been able to leave the area. That being said, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t been able to escape this area.”
Authorities say that although going to Canada is a possibility, so is crossing over Lake Champlain, which leads to Vermont. Guess states that search has widened to other areas in order to leave no stone unturned.
“Personnel are being redeployed to other areas based on information gathered during the investigation.”
Since they can be anywhere at this time, authorities urge people everywhere to keep an eye out for the inmates, but if seen, do not approach them. Call 911 immediately as both fugitives are considered armed and dangerous. A $50,000 reward is being offered to anyone who provides information that leads the arrest of the escaped New York prisoners.
[Photos Courtesy of Handout/Getty Images and the New York State Police]