At a press conference on Monday, New York State Police urged hunters to check their game cameras for possible footage of two escaped prisoners in northern New York.
Richard Matt and David Sweat made national news earlier this month when they cut their way out of the Clinton Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Dannemora. The US Marshals Service have since added both convicted murderers to the list of the country’s 15 most wanted criminals. According to CNN, police believe that at least one of the escaped killers may be in the vicinity of Owls Head after a cabin was burglarized over the weekend. Other reports also placed two suspicious-looking men in Friendship.
“Be inside with the doors locked and very diligent,” acting Franklin County District Attorney Glenn MacNeill warned local residents.
More than 800 law enforcement agents have been involved in the search since the two men broke out on June 6, including conservation officers and forest rangers from the Department of Environmental Conservation. Police officials say that hunters are uniquely positioned to help the search if they have trail cameras in the area.
“We’re asking them to review video from wildlife or trail cameras to see if they see anything suspicious,” State Police Major Charles Guess said at a press conference on Monday.
Hunters are urged to turn on their cameras and regularly review the footage, although officials warn against personally trying to apprehend the criminals.
“The public should not hesitate to report any suspicious activity including any signs of a trespass, burglary or vehicle larceny,” read a press release from the State Police.
“New York State is offering a reward of $50,000 for information that leads to the capture of either suspect ($100,000 for both),” the department added.
That reward—and the prospect of bringing two murderers back to justice—seems to have interested many hunters in the area.
“Rainy day, going to go check my trail cams and see if I have any bucks, bears, or 2 men in $100,000 green suits running around,” wrote hunter Jason Langdon on Facebook.
Langdon, who lives near Dannemora, told Fox News that he and other hunters have been keeping themselves aware of the situation and hope that officials capture the escapees before too long.
“If I was able to get some pictures and help state police get these guys, that would be great,” Langdon said. “I think a lot of people feel that way because this has been so unsettling.”
Some local residents told CNN they planned on locking their doors and will be keeping firearms close at hand. Wanted posters of both Matt and Sweat have also been passed out along the Canadian and Mexican borders.
Image courtesy New York State Police