Authorities discovered items in a cabin this weekend near Owl's Head, New York, which may be linked to escaped prisoners Richard Matt and David Sweat. Police are urging all campers in the area to take extreme caution.
Today, Major Charles Guess of the New York State Police released a statement indicating that a cabin owner reported signs of unusual activity in his cabin located in the Mountain View community, a small segment of land near Owl's Head. The area is only 20 miles west from Dannemora's Clinton Correctional Facility, where the inmates escaped from on June 6.
"It's a confirmed lead for us. It has generated a massive law enforcement response, as you can see, and we're going to run this to ground."Police believe that escaped convicts Sweat, 35, and Matt, 48, have been using the seasonal hunting area as a campground. A list of items were taken from the cabin, and although authorities are not detailing what exactly was taken, they did state that the inmates' DNA was found in the cabin.
According to the Press-Republican, however, the items found include a jar of peanut butter, a bloody pair of socks, toiletries, and a water jug.
A witness indicated that a person ran into the woods in the Mountain View community, and police think it was more than likely one of the escaped inmates.This marks the first substantial lead since the duo escaped from prison more than two weeks ago. Last week, a tip led police to Friendsville, New York, but after an exhaustive search, the area was deemed clear.
Yet, the new tips and discovered evidence indicate that the fugitives are more than likely desperate for food and other provisions, a law enforcement official stated.
Authorities think that the convicts are on foot, and urge all campers and anyone in the area to take extreme caution. It's advised to return home as soon as possible, as the the escaped fugitives are convicted murderers and considered extremely dangerous.
Investigations indicate that the no evidence exists that the fugitives had a means of support and escape from the area after breaking out.
Motel registries, car checks, phone records, and other searches that haven't turned up anything significant, which points to the inmates surviving on their own without a way to get past the surrounding areas.
Both men are on the U.S. Marshals Service's list for "15 Most Wanted" fugitives. A $75,000 is offered for the capture and arrest of either man, but again, authorities urge the public to not approach them. Lock your doors and contact 911 immediately if you spot either of the escaped prisoners.
[Photos Courtesy of the New York State Police, Andrew Burton/Getty Images & the U.S. Department of Justice]