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New York police shift, scale back search for escaped prisoners

By Danielle Haynes
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Richard Matt, left, and David Sweat, have yet to be located 11 days after they escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility near Dannemora,, N.Y. Police on Wednesday said the search for the men had been scaled back and shifted away from the prison. Photo courtesy New York State Police/Handout
Richard Matt, left, and David Sweat, have yet to be located 11 days after they escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility near Dannemora,, N.Y. Police on Wednesday said the search for the men had been scaled back and shifted away from the prison. Photo courtesy New York State Police/Handout

DANNEMORA, N.Y., June 17 (UPI) -- The search for two men who escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility in New York 11 days ago has shifted to other areas of the region, while police presence near the prison has been scaled back.

During a news conference Wednesday, State police Maj. Charles Guess said about 200 officers who were searching near the town of Dannemora, where the prison is located, were being sent back to their home departments. Some 600 officers were still searching for Richard Matt and David Sweat in other areas based on leads.

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Matt and Sweat escaped from the prison June 6 after using power tools to cut through pipes at the facility.

Police have searched more than 16 square miles in the region and received more than 1,400 leads. It's unclear if the two men are even still in the area, but Capt. Robert LaFountain said there's been no indication they have obtained transportation or left the region.

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"We are going to pursue every lead, and we are going to locate the individuals and they will be apprehended," LaFountain said at Wednesday's news conference.

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On Tuesday, state police released images of Matt and Sweat as they likely now appear after 10 days on the run.

Meanwhile, a prison employee accused of helping the two men, Joyce Mitchell, told investigators the convicted murderers had discussed killing her husband, Lyle Mitchell, Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie said. Mitchell was arrested Friday and faces charges of promoting prison contraband, a felony, and criminal facilitation, a misdemeanor, for her alleged role in Matt and Sweat's escape.

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