It’s now being described as a “marathon”: the manhunt for two escaped prisoners in New York has now entered its ninth day, Fox News is reporting.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, on June 6, two prisoners from the Clinton Correctional Facility — a maximum security prison in upstate New York — were reported as missing during a routine bed check. Prison officials later determined that the prisoners had tunneled out of the facility; the media began dubbing the prison escape the “Shawshank Escape” due to the escape’s similarities to the escape in the 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption, based on a Stephen King short story.
Currently, some 800 law enforcement officers are involved in the manhunt for the prison escapees — convicted murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat. The heavily-armed police presence has turned the idyllic farms and woods around Dannemora, New York, into something of a war zone, as police conduct house-to-house and farm-to-farm searches, and high-powered lights have illuminated the fields along the main highway through the area, Route 3.
Jason Hamel, who lives in the area, describes the intense manhunt as unsettling.
“I just mowed some fields and I kept looking over my shoulder. It’s scary. I won’t let the kids outside. My wife and I love to be outdoors. We haven’t done any of that, and when we do go outside now, we’re armed.”
Another homeowner near the heart of the manhunt, Tom Maggy, describes to CBS News how he willingly cooperated with the police.
“I have 50 acres. They told me that they think they have them cornered up there and wanted to know if I’d unlock the gate. Absolutely, no problem.”
As of this post, only one arrest has been made in connection with the manhunt: 51-year-old Joyce Mitchell, a prison worker who authorities believe befriended the two escapees and provided them with saw blades, chisels, power tools, and other equipment used in their escape. Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie believes that Mitchell was supposed to help drive the men away from a rendezvous point but didn’t make it.
“She was going to meet them at [a nearby power station]. They were going to pop out of the manhole, they were going to take off, and the three of them would be, you know, leaving the area. They were planning on driving approximately 7 hours away in a wooded area where her vehicle would be needed — a four-wheel-drive jeep.”
As of this point, police involved in the marathon manhunt are sorting through hundreds of possible leads as to the whereabouts of the two prison escapees.
[Image courtesy of Getty Images]