New York State police say they were actively searching in Allegany County Saturday afternoon in response to a possible sighting of Richard Matt and David Sweat, the two convicted murderers who recently escaped a maximum-security prison, sources told ABC News.
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According to police, a witness spotted two men on a railroad line along Route 20 in Friendship, New York, near the Pennsylvania border, on Saturday afternoon.
Various law enforcement agencies descended on the area and were searching along I-86 and Route 20 using aviation and K-9 teams.
While they called the sighting "unconfirmed," police were advising residents to be alert and call 911 immediately.
State police were previously searching a construction site in Erwin, about 300 miles southwest of Clinton Correctional Facility from which Matt and Sweat escaped. Men fitting their description were seen in that town last Saturday walking near the Gang Mills rail yard and seen the next day in Lindley heading for the Pennsylvania border.
Investigators conducted interviews in both communities and also obtained surveillance video of the two men that turned out to be inconclusive. Police said it was sent to Albany for additional analysis.
The convicts used power tools to cut through the back of their adjacent cells on June 6, broke through a brick wall, then cut into a steam pipe and slithered through it, finally emerging outside the prison walls through a manhole, authorities said.
Matt was serving 25 years to life in prison after he kidnapped and beat a man to death in 1997. Sweat was serving a life sentence after he was convicted of killing a Broome County sheriff's deputy in 2002.
Joyce Mitchell, who worked at the prison's tailor shop, was charged with helping the two escape. She has pleaded not guilty.
Earlier Friday, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision announced that a correction officer was placed on administrative leave as part of the investigation surrounding the men's escape. No additional details were disclosed.