Armed officers resume search for prison escapees

A law enforcement officer walks through a swampy area searching for escaped prisoners near Essex, N.Y.

State troopers wearing helmets and body armor are searching houses near the northern New York prison where two killers escaped, along with teams of corrections officers and police dogs.

The search for David Sweat and Richard Matt entered its fifth day on Wednesday. Authorities say the pair cut their way out of Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora last weekend.

Dannemora resident Barbara McCasland says officers asked to search her home Wednesday, but she said no. She says her windows are locked and her house is battened down.

McCasland says she wasn’t nervous when she first heard the convicted murderers are on the loose. But she’s growing more concerned with each passing day.

Unions representing guards and civilian staff at the northern New York prison where two killers escaped say many have been questioned by investigators but none has been suspended, disciplined or charged with wrongdoing five days after the getaway was discovered.Among them is Joyce Mitchell, an industrial training supervisor at maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility.

Her son tells NBC that his mother, an instructor in the tailor shop where Richard Matt and David Sweat worked, wouldn’t have helped them escape.

Tobey Mitchell says his mother checked herself into a hospital Saturday with chest pains.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said the men must have had help in cutting their way through a steel cell wall and steam pipes with a power tool.

The Civil Service Employees Association says many of its 150 civilian employees have been questioned.

Authorities say they’re resuming searches of northern New York homes located near the maximum-security prison where two killers escaped using power tools.State Police say the fifth day of searching will include going from house to house in Dannemora, where David Sweat and Richard Matt cut their way out of Clinton Correctional Facility.

Troopers say the house searches aren’t the result of any new leads.

Law enforcement officials also renewed their plea for the public’s help in reporting anything unusual in the area since the prison break, which was discovered early Saturday.

A search Tuesday in a rural town about 30 miles from the prison turned up no sign of the convicts. The search was prompted by reports of two men seen walked along a road in Willsboro.

The mother of one of the two escapees from a maximum-security prison in northern New York says she wants “nothing to do” with her son now that he’s the subject of a massive manhunt. Pamela Sweat of Conklin told the Press & Sun-Bulletin of Binghamton (http://press.sn/1S40rmW ) on Tuesday that 34-year-old David Sweat’s childhood was marked by behavioral problems and violent tendencies.

Authorities say Sweat and fellow murderer 48-year-old Richard Matt broke out of Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora last weekend by using power tools to cut through steel walls and pipes. They remain at large Wednesday.

David Sweat was sent to prison for killing a sheriff’s deputy near Binghamton in 2002.

His mother says she and her son wrote to each other several times a month, but his letters stopped about two months ago.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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