Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


US investigators believe prison employee was in on escape plot

12 June 2015, 11:43

New York - Investigators believe a female prison employee had agreed to be the getaway driver in last weekend's escape by two killers but never showed up, a person close to the investigation told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The manhunt, meanwhile, dragged into a sixth day with a renewed burst of activity by searchers in the woods close to the prison after bloodhounds were said to have picked up the convicts' scent. And Governor Andrew Cuomo said investigators are also "talking to several people who may have facilitated the escape".

David Sweat, 34, and Richard Matt, 48, used power tools to cut through steel and bricks and crawled through an underground steam pipe, emerging from a manhole outside the 12-metre  walls of the prison, authorities said.

The person close to the investigation said authorities believe Joyce Mitchell - an instructor at the prison tailor shop, where the two convicts worked - had befriended the men and was supposed to pick them up Saturday morning, but didn't.

Mitchell has not been charged.

Sniffer dogs, helicopters

In a renewed burst of activity near the prison, police using dogs and helicopters blocked off a main road and concentrated their sixth day of searching on Thursday on a swampy area just a couple of miles from the institution, situated about 30km from the Canadian border.

Schools were closed, and residents received automated calls warning them to lock their doors, close their windows and leave outside lights on.

Cuomo said that investigators had received tips that the convicts were in the area, and that tracking dogs had picked up the scent on Thursday morning.

But he added: "Look, they could either be four miles from the prison or they could be in Mexico. Right? So you just don't know."

Law enforcement officers walking an arm's length apart were conducting a grid search through a cordoned-off area consisting of mud, woods, thick underbrush and several houses, Sheriff David Favro said. He said there had been no reports of stolen or abandoned vehicles, break-ins or abductions.

Authorities suspect the inmates also had help from the inside in obtaining the power tools. Guards and other staff members have been questioned by investigators, but no one has been disciplined or charged.

Matt was serving 25 years to life for the 1997 kidnap, torture and hacksaw dismemberment of Matt's 76-year-old former boss, whose body was found in pieces in a river.

Sweat was doing life without parole for his part in the 2002 killing of sheriff's Deputy Kevin Tarsia, who was shot 15 times and run over after discovering Sweat and two accomplices transferring stolen guns between vehicles.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- AP

Tags us

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Quit if you can't fight corruptio...

An MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to quit office if he cannot fight corruption. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Investigate Uhuru, Ruto for corru...

Investigate President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto's offices over corruption, CORD leader Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Its a 1 horse race to State House...

Its a 1 horse race to State House, DP William Ruto has mocked the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Enjoy your time left in power, We...

CORD Co Principal Moses Wetangu'la has told the Jubilee Coalition to enjoy its last few months in power before it is voted out in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Stop hiding in State House and sa...

ODM MP's have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to release drought aid and to stop sitting on public funds. Read more...