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Funeral home updates status of escaped killer's body

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The body of a convicted murderer who broke out of prison and was fatally shot after three weeks on the run was handled in accordance with the wishes of his son as his fellow escapee continued his recovery at a hospital under heavy guard.

Winthrop Allen, with the John O. Roth Funeral Home in Tonawanda, near Buffalo, said that the "final disposition" of Richard Matt's body had taken place. Allen wouldn't say if Matt was buried or cremated or offer any other details. He said no services have been planned for Matt and that the funeral home had acted upon the wishes of Matt's son, Nicholas Harris.

Harris could not be reached for comment Friday.

Matt was shot and killed by a border patrol agent June 26, three weeks after he and David Sweat broke out of the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility. A tactical team member opened fire after Matt, lying behind a fallen tree, aimed a 20-gauge shotgun at the officer, according to officials.

Sweat was captured Sunday after being shot by a trooper as he fled through a field near the Canadian border. The pair had split days before.

Twelve prison workers on leave after murderers' escape

Sweat remained in fair condition Friday at Albany Medical Center. It was not clear when or where he will be transferred.

Also Friday, New York State Police investigating the escape sought the public's help in locating the owner of a backpack Sweat was carrying when he was captured.

Troopers say the red and black TYR brand backpack is believed to have been stolen from a camp in the heavily wooded region. Officials have said Sweat was carrying maps, tools, Pop Tarts and other items in the backpack.

Authorities said the inmates cut through their adjoining cell walls over months, climbed down catwalks to tunnels, got hold of contractors' tools, broke through a brick wall, cut into and out of a steam pipe and cut a chain holding a manhole cover outside the prison to get away.

FBI probes prison where inmates escaped

The escape by Sweat and Matt launched a massive 23-day manhunt amid the rugged northern New York terrain involving more than 1,100 law enforcement officers.

A U.S. border patrol sector chief, John Pfeifer, said Thursday that a member of the patrol's tactical team opened fire after Matt aimed a 20-gauge shotgun at the officer. It was the first indication that Matt aimed the weapon, which he had taken from a hunting camp. Officials earlier had said the agent shot Matt when he failed to comply with commands to raise his hands.

Harris earlier told CBS Buffalo affiliate WIVB-TV he believes his father's death was wrongful because agents shot him three times in the head.

Pfeifer could give only a few details of Matt's death because of the ongoing investigation. But he said the tactical team that found Matt lying down behind a fallen tree was made up of members from a sector based in Swanton, Vermont, and from Texas.

David Sweat reveals escape plot as prison worker goes to court

Pfeifer said one of the escapees stole alcohol from a camp, but he didn't say whether Matt or Sweat had stolen it. He said he didn't know if Matt was drunk when he was shot and killed.

Toxicology results were pending on Matt's autopsy.

State police investigating the escape on Thursday asked owners of seasonal homes and camps in the heavily wooded area around the prison to check for missing or left-behind items. State police piecing together the pair's path during their three weeks on the lam are asking for property checks in specific areas of a handful of towns west of the prison.

People who discover items left at their property or missing items are asked to call state police.

New York budget officials have started to piece together the cost of the manhunt but have to gather more information from all the state agencies involved, spokesman Morris Peters said. It was premature to provide an estimate or range, he said.

A prison tailor shop employee and a guard have been charged with helping the inmates escape. Several other prison employees have been placed on leave. A range of new security measures is being put in place at the maximum-security prison to close gaps the inmates exploited.

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