In this composite handout from New York State Police, convicted murderers David Sweat (L) and Richard Matt are shown. Matt, 48, and Sweat, 34, escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y., on June 6, 2015, by using power tools to cut through steel walls and pipes. Photo courtesy of New York State Police/UPI | License Photo
DANNEMORA, N.Y., June 14 (UPI) -- The two convicted murderers who broke out of a New York State prison apparently snuck out of their cells to practice their escape.
Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, wanted to drive seven hours after escaping to a predetermined location with the woman who allegedly helped them, Joyce Mitchell, according to Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie.
The men already knew their destination, but did not tell Mitchell, according to Wylie. The manhunt has expanded to Plattsburgh, about 15 miles away from Dannemora, where the prison is located.
"She was going to meet them at the power house," Wylie said, referring a power plant near the prison. "They were going to pop out of the manhole, they were going to take off, and the three of them would be, you know, leaving the area."
Mitchell, 51, is accused of assisting Sweat and Matt escape the prison on June 6 by allegedly smuggling "contraband" into the facility. She pleaded not guilty to felony and misdemeanor charges Friday night.
Authorities said the men cut through their cell walls, a steel plate and a 24-inch steam pipe and surfaced off the prison's grounds through a manhole.
"They were planning on driving approximately seven hours away in a wooded area where her vehicle would be needed -- a four-wheel-drive jeep," Wylie said, adding that it's surprising that a manhunt that costs $1 million a day has not returned many positive leads.
Matt had been serving 25 years to life for kidnapping, mutilating and killing a former boss in 1997. Sweat was serving a life sentence for killing a sheriff's deputy.
Police have offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the capture of Matt and Sweat -- $50,000 for each. Mitchell faces up to eight years imprisonment if convicted.