As the hunt for two killers who escaped from a high security prison in upstate New York continues, a prison employee is being questioned as a potential accomplice, CNN is reporting.
"They wouldn't have had the equipment on their own, that's for sure," Governor Andrew Cuomo told CNN.
The network said a source had confirmed that a prison employee was being questioned by police, but would not provide details of the employee's possible involvement.
The two men — Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34 — drilled through steel walls and pipes, scaled a six-foot high wall and then emerged outside the facility's 30-foot external wall via a manhole.
Authorities said are investigating how the inmates were able to access the power tools they needed to execute their plan.
The Governor announced on Sunday that the state is offering a $100,000 reward for information that leads to their capture, but reiterated that the men are dangerous and should not be approached.
"These are killers. They are murderers. They are now on the loose," he said during a press conference.
Matt and Sweat escaped at some point early Saturday morning from the maximum security section of a prison, the Clinton Correction Facility in Dannemora in upstate New York.
Their absence was noticed during a bed check of prisoners at 5.30 a.m. Though guards routinely patrol the cells every two hours, Matt and Sweat used sweatshirts to create decoys which deceived the guards until the bed check.
On Saturday, Cuomo was given a tour of the pair's escape route from the prison.
"We went back and pieced together what they did. It was elaborate. It was sophisticated. It encompassed drilling through steel walls and steel pipes. So this was not easily accomplished. The Commissioner of Corrections is going to undertake a full investigation," he said during a press conference.
After their escape was discovered, the prison was placed on lockdown. More than 200 law enforcement officers are on the hunt for the men, including canine officers and helicopters.
State police said that Sweat was serving a life sentence on one count of first-degree murder after killing a Broome County Sheriff's Deputy on July 4, 2002.
Matt was serving a sentence of 25 years to life after being convicted on three counts of murder, three counts of kidnapping and two counts of robbery. He kidnapped a victim and beat him to death on December 3, 1997, police said.
Officials said Matt is a 6-foot-tall white male, about 210 pounds, with black hair and hazel eyes. He has a tattoo on his back that reads "Mexico Forever," a tattoo of a heart on his chest and left shoulder, and a Marine Corps insignia on his right shoulder.
Sweat is 5-feet-11-inches tall, about 165 pounds, and has brown hair and green eyes. He has unspecified tattoos on his left bicep and right hand.
State police also stressed that both are considered to be a danger to the public. The public is advised not to approach them. If they are spotted, or with any leads, contact 911 or the New York State Police immediately at (518) 563-3761.