A correction officer at the New York prison where two convicted murderers escaped this month has been placed on leave as part of the investigation into the jailbreak, officials said.
The state Department of Corrections did not identify the officer or say why the officer was placed on leave, but said the action was related to the investigation into the June 6 escape at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.
The convicted killers who escaped, Richard Matt and David Sweat, remain on the loose. They used power tools to saw through their cells and escape through a tunnel system that led to a manhole outside the prison walls.
Prison worker Joyce Mitchell has been charged with bringing tools into Clinton Correctional that Sweat and Matt used to escape. She worked in the facility’s tailor shop. Mitchell has pleaded not guilty to a felony count of promoting prison contraband and a misdemeanor count criminal facilitation.
Mitchell was supposed to be the getaway driver and pick up the two convicts on the night of the escape, but apparently got cold feet and backed out, authorities said.
Matt, 48, was sentenced to 25 years to life for killing and dismembering a businessman in 1997. Sweat, 35, was sentenced to life without parole for his role in the fatal shooting of a sheriff’s deputy.
On Thursday the U.S. Marshals Service placed Matt and Sweat on its 15 Most Wanted fugitives list in the hope of generating new leads. A reward of $25,000 each is being offered for information that leads to their capture.