Watch CBS News

2 Convicted Murderers Believed To Use Power Tools To Break Out Of Upstate NY Prison

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- State police are looking for two convicted murderers they believe have escaped from a maximum-security prison in upstate New York.

State police said Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, were unaccounted for during a 5:30 a.m. bed check at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.

"This morning, we noticed during the standing count at 5:30 a.m. at this facility," said Corrections Commissioner Anthony Annuci. "The two cells which were adjoining each other were empty."

Official say the men escaped through a hole in the back of their cells, which are made of steel. The men cut through the pipes and climbed through them. Investigators believe the men used power tools but not sure how they got them, CBS2's Matt Kozar reports.

Matt is serving a sentence of 25 to life for a conviction on murder, kidnapping and robbery charges. State police said he kidnapped a man and beat him to death in 1997.

Sweat is serving a sentence of life without parole. He was convicted of first-degree murder for killing a Broome County sheriff's deputy in 2002.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo canceled his planned appearance on Long Island for the Belmont Stakes and instead headed to Clinton Correctional Facility for a briefing on the escape.

Matt is described as 6 feet tall and 210 pounds, with black hair and hazel eyes. State police said he has a tattoo on his back that says "Mexico Forever," a heart on his chest and left shoulder, and a Marine Corps. insignia on his right shoulder.

Sweat is 5 feet, 11 inches tall and 165 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes. He has tattoos on his left bicep and his right fingers, state police said.

Both are considered to be a danger to the public.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.