David Sweat and Richard Matt, Escaped Inmates, 'Will Do Whatever It Takes,' Governor Warns

by Erin McClam /  / Updated 

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The governor of Vermont issued a stark warning to the public on Thursday that the two killers who escaped from a maximum-security New York prison “will do whatever it takes” to stay free.

“If that means harming you, that won’t bother them much,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said. “So obviously do not get near them.”

Authorities said Wednesday they had reason to believe the escapees, Richard Matt and David Sweat, might have headed for Vermont.

The prison, Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, is not far from Lake Champlain, which separates New York from Vermont. Shumlin said he had no information on exactly where in Vermont the fugitives might be, but he warned people to look out for stolen boats and canoes.

“These are not nice guys. They kill. They maim,” the governor said. “They’ll do anything, they’ll steal anything to try to remain free.”

“The more time passes,” he said, “the more desperate they tend to get.”

An earlier tip that the killers might be on Burton Island, on the lake, did not pan out, Shumlin added.

The inmates have been missing since Saturday. They cut through the steel walls of their cells at Clinton, then crawled through the works of the building and broke out of a manhole to freedom.

On Thursday, sources familiar with the case told NBC News that Joyce Mitchell, an employee of the prison, was charmed by Matt and planned to be the getaway driver for the pair until she got cold feet.

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