Joyce Mitchell, an employee of the Clinton Correctional Facility, appears to have helped convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat escape, police have confirmed.

New York Prison Break: Was Joyce Mitchell Supposed To Be The Getaway Driver?

Matt and Sweat escaped from the high security facility sometime Friday night, and authorities have been adamant that they did not escape on their own, but must have had help from the outside. On Monday, June 9, it was revealed that Mitchell was being questioned by police, and on Wednesday, it was confirmed that Mitchell likely played some role in their escape.

“Obviously… she befriended the inmates, and may have had some sort of role in assisting them,” said New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico during a press conference on Wednesday.

Mitchell worked as an industrial training supervisor at New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility, teaching inmates how to tailor clothes in the tailor shop, where both Matt and Sweat worked. It’s unclear what exactly Mitchell did or did not do to facilitate Matt and Sweat’s escape. On Monday, sources revealed that Mitchell’s cell phone had been used to call people connected to Matt, but the details of the calls have not been released.


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Early reports suggested that Mitchell was meant to be the getaway driver for Matt and Sweat, only to change her mind at the last minute. However, her daughter in law Paige Mitchell denied those claims, calling it “just slander and rumor.” According to Paige, her mother-in-law may have made calls on Matt’s behalf under the impression that Matt was interested in art, adding, “I believe there is talk about her and Richard Matt. He was interested in art. I believe she was persuaded to contact people for him who knew about an art piece or work of art.”

Mitchell’s son, Tobey Mitchell, said that his mother wouldn’t help the convicted murderers escape unless she felt they were threatening her or her family. “When you’re put in a situation where a family member is threatened…or at risk, you do a lot of things that you wouldn’t think of to just protect your family. And in my family, family always comes first,” he told CNN.

Mitchell has yet to be charged or arrested for any crime relating to the escape, and authorities are reportedly still investigating whether other workers or civilians were involved.

Meanwhile, Matt and Sweat remain at large, and the massive search is ongoing. On Wednesday, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin announced that the search had been expanded to Vermont.

“We have information that would suggest that Vermont was discussed as a possible location… Vermont is engaged and Vermont is mobilized and we are working hand in glove, and we will be coordinating several times a day to make sure every lead we have, every piece of information is shared,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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