The two convicted murderers who used power tools to break out of a maximum security New York prison must have been heard during their escape, and left behind a note telling their jailors to “Have a nice day,” New York’s governor said on Sunday.
Local, state and federal authorities set up roadblocks and went door-to-door in their search for Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, who went missing early Saturday morning from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, about 20 miles (30 kms) south of the Canadian border.
“They were heard. They had to be heard,” Governor Andrew Cuomo told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Sunday, calling the first escape in a century and a half at the facility elaborate and sophisticated.
“The first order of business is to get these killers back. This was the first breakout since 1865 and I want to make sure it’s the last,” he said.
The two men were in adjoining cells and drilled holes in walls to break out of them. They then went through a series of catwalks and tunnels, breaking through steel to clear prison grounds and escaped through a manhole on a street, officials said.
They used clothing to make it look like they were sleeping in their beds.
“We don’t yet know how they acquired the tools,” Anthony Annucci, acting commissioner of the New York State Department of Corrections, told a news conference on Saturday as authorities checked to see if the tools came from contractors working for the prison.
Matt is serving 25 years to life for kidnapping, murdering and dismembering a man. He was received into the prison system in 2008, online records showed.
Sweat, 34, is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for killing a sheriff’s deputy. Police said he shot the deputy nearly two dozen times. Sweat was received into the prison system in 2003.
(Writing by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by David Evans)