BELLMONT, NY –
Investigators are now combing through 2,400 leads in the search to find Richard Matt and David Sweat who escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora on June 6.
More than 1,100 searchers are tracing through recreational trails, camps and forested areas in Adirondack Park.
Police say they’re focusing on the town of Bellmont, which includes the village of Mountain View and near the town of Malone, NY.
Residents in this area are just ready for this to be over.
Nick Eggink has lived in the quiet, secluded village of Mountain View, NY for more than 40 years.
“We figured they were heading for Mexico,” he said. Everybody figured they’re gone, they’re in Mexico. And then all of a sudden they were here, in swarms. There must have been 400-500 [law enforcement officials] over there on the road, all lined up, buses, Vermont, everybody.”
His remote town has become the focus of the massive manhunt to find the two men.
“The U.S. marshals came. They went all around the back. They checked the shed. They checked the screen house, underneath the house,” he said.
That’s after evidence was found at a cabin placing the inmates in the village on Saturday. Eggink says that cabin is very close to his home and basically inaccessible by vehicle. “Back there, it’s all swamps. It’s all swamps.”
But Eggink has his gun ready and says he feels safe because of the police presence.
“A lot of law enforcement. Hopefully they catch those guys,” he said.
In nearby Owls Head, Thomas E. Tallman says he’s had to put his hunting and fishing passions on hold.
“I can’t right now because I don’t want to hinder anything for the law officers,” he said.
He owns up to 15 guns and says the countless unoccupied hunting camps could also be loaded.
“Hunting camps you might find personal protection, a bear gun or something,” said Tallman.
In fact, New York State Police Major Charles Guess told media Wednesday the cabin where he is “virtually 100% sure” the pair were holed up in on Saturday had so many weapons that it’s impossible to tell if any are missing.
“They put an inordinate amount of weapons and ammunitions and tools in these shared hunting camps and cabins,” said Major Guess.
Residents used to a quiet life tucked away in Adirondack Park are hoping this all ends soon.
There is a $50,000 reward for information leading to either of the escapees arrest.
Sweat is sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting a sheriff’s deputy. Matt is serving 25-life for killing and dismembering his boss.