Video: Search for escaped convicts ramps up near prison

Have New York police finally gotten a break on the location of two dangerous escapees? Roadblocks and checkpoints went up overnight around Cadyville, less than ten miles from the prison in Dannemora where two convicted murderers escaped last weekend. A reported sighting has shifted the focus of the search, which had looked toward Vermont or Canada until last night:

At least two helicopters were flying overhead, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner. Dense fog, which was lifting as the morning wore on, blanketed the area overnight. Police set up bright flood lights to help with the search. People in the area were reportedly told to remain inside with their doors locked.

The Saranac Central School District will be closed Thursday.

The Plattsburgh Press-Republican reports local residents say evidence of criminals “bedding down” was found in the woods.

Earlier Wednesday, the search was expanded to neighboring Vermont after investigators learned the inmates had talked before last weekend’s breakout about heading there.

As the report notes, the prison employee who had been the focus of the investigation into the escape itself has reportedly told investigators that she had agreed to act as their getaway driver. Instead, she had a panic attack and checked into the hospital, leaving them to proceed on foot. Both CBS and the New York Daily News note that she hasn’t been charged yet, but the NYDN introducers her in this video update as a “homewrecker” and an unfaithful wife, for some reason. Right now, the Big House is a little more pressing priority, no?

Now investigators think the smooth-talking Matt turned the head of the 51-year-old industrial training supervisor who was his boss in the prison tailoring department.

“That inmate probably told her what she wanted to hear as a woman, and she fell for it,” the source said.

Gov. Cuomo confirmed Wednesday that investigators have been questioning a female civilian prison worker in connection with the daring escape, although he didn’t identify Mitchell by name.

That failure may be keeping the two close to the area of the prison. Had Mitchell come through, they might all be in Canada by now, or perhaps even further away depending on whether they could arrange new identities for themselves. Stuck on foot and probably with very little cash, the two can’t afford to travel on the roads or through public transportation, not with their pictures on every conceivable medium in the region and the nation. They could steal a car, but that would raise their profile even more. And now with roadblocks and checkpoints, that would become even more problematic — assuming that the pair really are caught within the search area.

How long can police maintain that posture, though? The two men may be hoping to outlast them by staying in the woods, but the police will have dogs on the ground and infrared detection in the air. If they’re still around Cadyville, they won’t stay free for much longer.