MALONE, N.Y. (WIVB) – Authorities have intensified efforts to catch the second escaped murderer, David Sweat, after his accomplice, Richard Matt was shot and killed in the woods by a Border Patrol agent Friday.
Helicopters, K9 units and hundreds of law enforcement officers are hunting for Sweat in and around Malone, N.Y. in Franklin County. Roadblocks have been set up on Route 30 and authorities are searching cars and campers looking for Sweat or people who may have information as to his whereabouts. The search is similar to what happened last weekend in Friendship, in Allegany County when police believed Matt and Sweat were there.
Law enforcement is arriving in the Malone area in bus loads; Vermont State Police and Canadian authorities are joining the effort even.
While the search was fairly quiet overnight, police did field several reports of suspicious activity and gunshots but none of those reports yielded anything significant. Police do appreciate the calls and want the public to remain vigilant and report anything they may think may be worthwhile by calling 911.
Richard Matt was gunned down in a wooded area about 30 miles from the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility where they both escaped from on June 6. New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico says the fatal confrontation came after a man found a bullet hold in the back of a camper he was towing and alerted police.
Authorities found a cabin with the smell of fresh gunpowder and proof someone had just fled out the back of the cabin. They followed and ultimately found and shot Richard Matt. He had a 20-guage shotgun on him when he was killed.
During a press conference Friday evening, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo described David Sweat’s crimes. “Mr Sweat was involved in the killing of a Sheriff’s Deputy,” Cuomo said. “Mr. Sweat and his accomplices hit the Sheriff’s Deputy with a car, got out and shot him 22 times and ran over him.”
Officials Friday made a point to say they haven’t sighted Sweat and don’t have evidence to suggest he is or isn’t in Franklin County.
“The last positive sighting of Sweat was the time of his escape,” D’Amico said.
New York State Police and their partners recovered evidence suggesting Richard Matt and David Sweat stayed together throughout much of the escape, but aren’t positive of Sweat’s current whereabouts.
“We are going to continue the same tactics we’ve used over the last three weeks, which is to search 24 hours a day until we find him,” D’Amico said.
Police say they’re prepared for all situations, including a shootout or a break for Canada.
Cuomo said despite spending more than $1 million per day on a statewide manhunt, he believes the effort is worth it. “These are dangerous, dangerous men, and that’s why you see law enforcement from across the country,” Cuomo said.
Anybody with information on Sweat’s location is asked to call 911 immediately.