David Sweat and Richard Matt (left to right).

Update 5:17 p.m. – Officials are converging on an Upstate town to look for two escaped murderers after a report that two “suspicious” men were spotted running off the road in the rain.

The town of Willsboro is flooded with police Tuesday after a person reported seeing two men walking in the rain on a country road Monday night. The men allegedly ran into a nearby field as a person driving down the road got closer to them, CNN reports. 

Willsboro is located about 35 miles from the Clinton Correctional Facility where Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, broke out of their separate cells and were discovered missing by a guard during bed checks around 5:30 a.m. Saturday. They left behind evidence of a movie-like escape from the prison and a taunting note.

The Wall Street Journal reported that a town supervisor said it’s unusual for anyone to be walking along the town’s roads late at night.

“It’s very rural, sparsely populated, agricultural and there’s no sidewalk,” said Shaun Gillilland, the town supervisor of Willsboro.

He said police have cordoned off a rural area in Willsboro, including  “all fields and farms,” and an officer was dispatched to a local school as a precaution, ABC News reports.

DANNEMORA, N.Y. – Four days after two convicted murderers escaped from a Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, officials are still looking for the men and investigating how they managed to escape.

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Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, broke out of their separate cells and were discovered missing by a guard during bed checks around 5:30 a.m. Saturday. They left behind evidence of a movie-like escape from the prison and a taunting note.

David Sweat and Richard Matt (left to right).

Here are 6 bits of new information from new reports about the escapees:

  1. Joyce Mitchell, 51, an industrial training supervisor at the Clinton Correction Facility, has been questioned by officials and removed from her post, ABC News reports. No charges have been filed against her as of Tuesday afternoon.
  2. Matt has escaped from custody on two other occasions, Syracuse.com reports. When he was 14 years old, he stole a horse and ran away from a youth home. The Buffalo News said Matt was serving a one-year sentence for third-degree assault when a guard mistakenly opened the electronic lock of Matt’s cell door in 1986. He climbed a 9-foot brick and metal wall topped with razor wire and an 8-foot-tall wire gate, cutting himself severely in the process, the newspaper reported. He was captured five days after his escape in the City of Tonawanda.
  3. Matt’s son Nicholas Harris told The Buffalo News that his father had been shot trying to escape from a prison in Mexico. “You know he has escaped before. He has a genius IQ. I can’t believe they let this happen,” Harris told the newspaper.
  4.  According to the most recent Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) data from 2013, 2,001 counts of “AWOL/escape” prisoners serving sentences of more than one year were reported. New York escapees accounted for 22 of those 2,001. The Washington Post reported that escapes from prisons with a perimeter are incredible rare, though, accounting for 0 percent of the AWOL escapes in 2013.
  5. Two people saw the murderers in a backyard carrying a guitar case around 12:30 a.m. Saturday. The murderers said they were lost and ran away, ABC news reports.
  6. The escapees’ good behavior landed them on the “honor block” giving them the ability to cook, visit other inmates’ cells sometimes, and wear clothing other than their prison uniforms, Timesunion.com reported.

Earlier –

Matt is 6-feet tall, 210 pounds, with black hair and hazel eyes. He has tattoos on his back that say “Mexico Forever,” a heart on his chest and left shoulder and a Marine Corps insignia on his right shoulder.

Sweat, 34, is 5 feet 11 inches tall, 165 pounds, and has brown hair and green eyes. He has tattoos on his left bicep and right fingers.

Sweat is serving a sentence of life without parole after he caused the death of the death of a Broome County Sheriff’s Deputy on July 4, 2002. He was convicted of first-degree murder in Broome County and taken to the Clinton prison Oct. 30, 2003.

Matt is serving a sentence of 25 years to life after he kidnapped a male and and beat him to death Dec. 3, 1997. He was convicted of three counts of murder, three counts of kidnapping, and two counts of robbery in Niagara County. He was transferred to Clinton jail on July 10, 2008.

The state is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the capture of both men. A $50,000 reward is offered for information that leads to the capture of one of the escapees. People with information can call 1-800-GIVE-TIP. Both men are considered a danger to the public. Officials are warning people to not approach the men. Instead, call 911 or the New York State Police at 518-563-3761.


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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.