A penitentiary worker who is charged with aiding the escape of two convicts from a maximum security prison in upstate New York, smuggled special tools hidden in frozen meat for their breakout, according to multiple US media reports.
Joyce Mitchell worked as a training supervisor at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York and she is charged with allegedly helping Richard Matt and David Sweat escape from a maximum-security prison.
Court records claim Mitchell provided the two with hacksaw blades, chisels, a punch and a screwdriver before their escape.
Law enforcement sources told the New York Post that it was Mitchell’s idea to hide the tools into frozen food and sneak them into jail.
Examiners are researching how the meat bypassed a metal detector, looking into whether Mitchell convinced a prison guard to pass the meat, according to CNN.
The runaway prisoners escaped from the maximum-security prison near the Canadian border on June 6.
Andrew Wylie, the Clinton County district attorney claimed that Joyce Mitchell had a discussion with the prison breakers Richard Matt and David Sweat about a plan for killing her husband, Lyle Mitchell.
Lyle Mitchell spoke to NBC News in an interview saying that Joyce Mitchell told him she was “over her head“ as part of a plan to free the two murderers.
The husband said on Monday that his wife said "I love my husband, I am not hurtin' him.”
Officials offer a $50,000 reward for any information that would help the capture of either Matt or Sweat, and $100,000 for the two of them.
Authorities have told citizens not to approach the two prison breakers but there is also a reward for anyone who captures the runaways.
Sweat, 35, faced a life sentence for the killing of a sheriff’s deputy. Matt, 48, was doing 25 years to life for the kidnap and torture of his former boss.
Police expanded the search for the murderers, but the prison breakers have not yet been caught. Police are still searching for the two runaways. They found prison-issue underwear and fingerprints belonging to one of them inside a cabin near the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.
Lyle Mitchell also told TODAY's Matt Lauer that his wife admitted she helped Richard Matt and David Sweat escape from their cells by providing them with special tools.
He announced that he had not decided yet whether to testify against his wife.
“As of right now, I don't know what to think. I do not know,” said Mitchell when asked if he was standing by his wife.
He added: "Do I still love her? Yes. Am I mad? Yes. How could she do this? How could she do this to our kids?”