Trail 'Gone Cold' in Hunt for NY Inmates

Town puts up blue ribbons to support searchers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2015 3:50 AM CDT
Updated Jun 16, 2015 6:44 AM CDT
Trail 'Gone Cold' in NY Hunt
A boarded-up apartment house is seen across the street from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

There have been no sightings of Richard Matt and David Sweat on the International Space Station, meaning the two NY prison escapees are likely still somewhere on this planet—but officials admit that despite some promising clues last week, they have no idea where. A state official tells CNN that 10 days in, the trail has gone cold and the two killers could now be in Mexico or Canada—or still within a few miles of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY. In other developments:

  • The search may have been hampered by interagency rivalries, as well as by the "disruptive" appearance of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the command center when the search was still in its first hours, sources tell the New York Post. One source says there was nearly a potentially deadly confrontation a few days ago when a team of state troopers combing the woods for the escapees were surprised by a team of prison officers doing the same thing.

  • In Dannemora, residents are displaying blue ribbons in gratitude for the efforts of hundreds of searchers, and they say the ribbons will stay up until Matt and Sweat are back behind bars. Residents tell the Plattsburgh Press Republican that they are probably in the safest town in the state thanks to the huge law-enforcement presence—though they haven't been spending much time in their backyards and have told relatives to postpone visits.
  • Joyce Mitchell, the prison seamstress charged with aiding the escapees, has waived her right to a preliminary hearing and the case will now head to county court, the AP reports. She did not speak at a brief hearing yesterday, where she wore a black-and-white prison jumpsuit. Sources tell CNN that Mitchell, whose husband also works at the prison, had sexual relationships with both Matt and Sweat before allegedly aiding the escape—and allegedly getting cold feet because she didn't want them to kill her husband.
  • New York State Sen. Kathleen Marchione has a modest proposal to prevent similar escapes in the future: implanting GPS tracking chips under the skin of prisoners. The Republican tells the New York Daily News that she's looking into the idea, though critics call it an "outrageous" plan that's probably unconstitutional as well as technologically unfeasible.
(Read more New York state stories.)

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