N.Y. search for escaped killers widens
NEW YORK — The search for two escaped killers expanded from the area around their upstate New York prison Wednesday, and investigators said that a woman charged with helping the pair break out had plotted with them to kill her husband.
Twelve days after Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 35, f led the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, about 20 miles south of the Canadian border, officials admitted they had no idea where the escapees were. But in a sign that they no longer feel certain the men are nearby, they confirmed that the search, which had focused on a tight perimeter around Dannemora, had been widened.
Maj. Charles Guess of the New York State Police told a news conference that the search would “expand and shift to other areas.”
Joyce Mitchell, a civilian who worked in the prison, has been charged with bringing contraband to Sweat and Matt, who both were serving time for murder. But Clinton County Dist. Atty. Andrew Wylie has said more charges could be filed against her, and he said she had discussed killing her husband, Lyle Mitchell, with the escapees.
“The information we have from Joyce Mitchell is that that occurred, that the plot had occurred,” he said.
Mitchell, 51, has pleaded not guilty to a felony and a misdemeanor charge. A criminal complaint accuses her of bringing hacksaw blades, chisels, a punch and a screwdriver bit to the men in the weeks before they fled.
She has told officials that she was supposed to pick up the men after they emerged from a manhole either late on June 5 or early June 6, and take them to a destination several hours’ drive away. But Wylie said Mitchell told authorities she changed her mind at the last minute, in part because she did not want to hurt her husband.