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Cuomo Offers Reward As Manhunt Widens For Murderers Who Escaped From Prison

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a press conference about Saturday's prison escape on Sunday.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a press conference about Saturday's prison escape on Sunday. Video Credit: NYGovCuomo
Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, are considered to be a danger to the public.
Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, are considered to be a danger to the public. Photo Credit: New York State Police

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo toured the route within the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York that two inmates convicted of murder considered to be dangerous to the public used to escape early Saturday.

Nearly 300 law enforcement and corrections officials and state forest rangers are searching for the pair.

Cuomo announced on Sunday a reward of $100,000 for information leading to the men's arrests.

Cuomo said the offer of $50,000 for each man was an unusual action for the state, but "appropriate."

Both individuals are considered to be a danger to the public, and the Governor strongly urged anyone with possible information or with knowledge of unusual activity to contact the State Police.

The two, Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, used power tools to cut through a steel wall before going through a series of tunnels to escape. Contractors had been working in the facility recently, officials said, with the possibility existing the inmates may have somehow managed to locate and steal the power tools.

"We want to find out how it happened," Cuomo said in a press conference after the tour. "How did they get the power tools? From who? How? So we will undertake a full investigation to make sure that this was the first and the last time that anyone escaped from this facility."

Matt is a white male, 6-feet tall, 210 pounds, with black hair and hazel eyes, state police said. He has tattoos on back “Mexico Forever,” a heart on his chest and left shoulder, and a marine corps insignia on his right shoulder.

Sweat also a white male, is 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes, according to state police. He has tattoos on his left bicep and his right fingers.

Matt is serving a sentence of 25 years to life following his conviction in Niagara County after he kidnapped a male victim and caused his death by beating him on Dec. 3, 1997.

Sweat is serving a sentence of life without parole following his conviction in Broome County for one count of first-degree murder after he caused the death of a Broome County Sheriff’s Deputy on July 4, 2002.

Both are considered to be a danger to the public. If located do not approach them, state police said. Contact 911 or the New York State Police immediately at 518-563-3761.

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