After a witness saw someone fleeing the cabin, police found evidence that the escapees are near the prison

By Steve Helling
Updated June 22, 2015 01:10 PM
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Credit: New York State Police

It may be the break that authorities need to capture Richard Matt and David Sweat, the two convicted murderers who escaped from Clinton Correction Facility on June 6.

New York State Police have found DNA evidence in a cabin near Wolf Pond, about 20 miles west of the prison in Dannemora, New York. Police have set up a command center in nearby Owls Head.

On Saturday, a witness spotted someone running into the woods from the cabin. Police responded and found items containing DNA from the men. They now believe that the person running into the woods was either Matt or Sweat.

During a Monday press briefing, New York State Police Maj. Charles Guess said that the escapees are likely on their own. “There is no definitive evidence that anyone else is assisting them,” Guess said in a press conference Monday, “but we’re not ruling it out.”

Although Guess declined to elaborate on the items that were recovered, multiple news outlets are reporting that police found a water bottle and a jar of peanut butter in the cabin.

It’s a surprising development to learn that the escapees may still be so close to the prison. Over the weekend, police received a “credible tip” and began searching in Allegany County, New York, near the state’s southern border with Pennsylvania. A 36-hour search of the area, which is 300 miles from the prison, turned up nothing.

“Allegany County has been declared clear,” Guess said in the press conference. “The area around Dannemora remains a prime focus. No lead is too small.”

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