This story has been updated.

UPDATE, 2:59 p.m. EDT: New York Gov. Cuomo has announced a $100,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the two convicted murderers who escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility Saturday. Authorities say they are unsure whether the two are still together or have separated. Anyone with information is asked to call New York State Police at (518) 563-3761.

Cuomo also released a statement on Twitter asking the public for help.



Original story below.

Catching the two prisoners who escaped a prison in New York during the weekend will be a top priority for law enforcement, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday. In an interview with ABC News' "Good Morning America," Cuomo discussed his tour of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, following the first known maximum-security escape at the more than 150-year-old institution.

“The first order of business is to get these killers back,” Cuomo said of inmates Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34. The two convicted murderers escaped the prison before guards conducted bed checks early Saturday morning.

Matt and Sweat reportedly used power tools to cut through a steel wall of their adjacent cells. They then crawled through a series of catwalks and scurried away from the prison, before emerging from a manhole more than a city block away, the New York Times reported. New York State Police and other law enforcement agencies were participating in a manhunt.

Cuomo said he found it hard to believe other inmates hadn't witnessed the two escaping. “I chatted with a couple of the inmates myself and said, ‘You must be a very heavy sleeper,’ ” Cuomo said in the interview. “They were heard. They had to be heard.”


Cuomo said there had been contractors working in the facility, suggesting that was how Matt and Sweat had access to the power tools. He also said the two may have been helped by the silence of other inmates.

Officials at the Clinton Correctional Facility called state police Saturday at 5:45 a.m EDT, to report Matt and Sweat were unaccounted for. Both men are described as white and considered dangerous.

State police said Matt had been serving a prison sentence of 25 years to life for three counts of murder, three counts of kidnapping and two counts of robbery in an incident that caused the death of a male victim in Niagara County on Dec. 3, 1997. Sweat was serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole for the murder of a Broome County sheriff’s deputy on July 4, 2002.

The Clinton Correctional Facility was built in 1865. The all-male prison houses approximately 3,000 inmates and is in Clinton County, near the Canadian border, the Associated Press reported. Matt and Sweat reportedly taunted prison authorities with a note that read, "Have a nice day."