David Sweat Search Concentrated 30 Miles From Clinton Correctional Facility
One of two dangerous escaped convicts, David Sweat, remains on the loose in upstate New York following a breakout from Clinton Correctional Facility three weeks ago. Following the fatal shooting of Sweat’s partner in crime Richard Matt, the search has intensified, covering a wooded area 30 miles from the facility in which both men were held.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers have been mobilized to cover the area in Dannemora, where David Sweat is believed to be in hiding. Helicopters and search dogs converged on the area in which officers had discovered a suspicious camp Friday morning, showing evidence of recent use including candy wrappers and others items.
In a news conference following the death of Sweat’s accomplice, New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico credited a tip received from a member of the general public.
“Of course our preference would always be to capture them alive,” D’Amico highlighted. “We have a lot of people in the area. We have canines and we have a decent perimeter set up and we’re searching for Sweat at this time.”
Officers have yet to pin down Sweat’s location, however, D’Amico stated that “several leads” are being investigated that could potentially lead to the arrest of the fugitive.
While Sweat has not been spotted since escaping from the Clinton Correctional Facility using power tools, however, evidence has been discovered in a local hunting cabin suggesting his presence in the area. The evidence, discovered weeks ago, suggested Sweat and Matt broke into a private cabin, consumed a bottle of red grape gin, and later fled out of the back door.
An investigation into the cabin and immediate area led to the discovery of Matt, where he was then shot and killed by officers after failing to comply with directions.
“As we were doing the ground search in the area, there was movement detected by officers on the ground, what they believed to be coughs. So they knew that they were dealing with humans as opposed to wildlife,” D’Amico explained as he described the lead up to the discovery of Sweat’s accomplice.
Richard Matt was discovered with a 20-guage shotgun, although he did not attempt to use the weapon against officers.
“You never want to see anyone lose their life,” Governor Andrew Cuomo explained in a statement regarding the search for David Sweat, and fatal shooting of Richard Matt. “But I would remind people that Mr. Matt was an escaped murderer from a state prison. Mr. Matt killed two people who we know about. Mr. Matt killed his boss in a dispute and dismembered him. He fled to Mexico and then he killed another person in Mexico and was imprisoned in Mexico.”
David Sweat was convicted of the murder of a sheriff’s deputy in Broome County in 2002, serving a life sentence without parole. Cuomo described Sweat as a “dangerous, dangerous man.”
[Image credit: Clinton Correctional Facility]