New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a $100,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of Richard Matt and David Sweat, the prisoners who escaped from a maximum-security prison – the first prison break ever from the Clinton Correctional Facility.

New York Prison Escapees: Richard Matt And David Sweat

Matt and Sweat escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York over the weekend, they were last seen at 10:30 p.m. on Friday and noticed missing at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. To avoid being caught during nighttime checks, they reportedly stuffed their beds with covers and hoodies, so the guards believed they were asleep.

According to authorities, Sweat and Matt used power tools to cut through walls of their adjoining cells, and escape through an “elaborate maze of pipes into tunnels.

They cut through steel walls and pipes, eventually crawling through a large pipe and escaping through a manhole three blocks away from the prison. Though authorities have deduced that the escape would necessitate power tools, no such tools have been found. “It was elaborate, it was sophisticated. It involved drilling through steel walls, steel pipes,” said Gov. Cuomo.

This is the first prison break from the Clinton Correctional Facility, and Matt and Sweat appeared confident of their escape, taunting officers with a note left along the final leg of their underground escape. The two cut through a large pipe, and, right by the cut section, left a bright yellow note with a racist cartoon and the phrase, “Have A Nice Day,” written on it.

Gov. Cuomo toured the prison on Saturday and went along the escape route to see the elaborate plan for himself. The following day, Cuomo announced that authorities would offer a $100,000 reward for information on Matt and Sweat, saying, “This is a crisis situation for the state and these are dangerous men.”

Over 250 law enforcement officials have joined the search for the escapees, with officials in Canada and Mexico notified. Authorities still do not know if the two had help in their escape, though Cuomo said it is extremely likely. With so many unanswered questions, Maj. Charles Guess of the New York State Police said of Matt and Sweat: “They could be literally anywhere.”

Gov. Cuomo said on Monday that authorities are continuing to widen their search to adjoining states. “If they had help from outside, they could be anywhere in the country.”

Who Are Richard Matt And David Sweat?

Matt, 49, and Sweat, 35, are both convicted murderers. Matt was sentenced to 25 years to life after reportedly abducting and killing a 76-year-old man and cutting his body into pieces in 1997. He fled to Mexico, where he was arrested for another murder, stabbing an American in an attempted robbery. He was later extradited to the U.S. Matt is described as 6-ft tall, 210 lbs., with black hair, brown eyes and a tattoo that reads “Mexico Forever” on his back.

Richard Matt

Richard Matt

Sweat was convicted of murdering Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Tarsia and sentenced to life in prison in 2002. He and a colleague reportedly broke into a Pennsylvania home to steal guns and ended up shooting Tarsia 15 times. Sweat is 5’11”, 165 lbs., and has brown hair and green eyes.

David Sweat

David Sweat

“These are dangerous men capable of committing grave crimes again,” warned Gov. Cuomo.

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