Prison Escapee Still Cooperating Month After Capture


A prison escapee who eluded an army of searchers in the woods for three weeks is still cooperating with investigators a month after his capture, the state police major who led the manhunt said Wednesday.

Maj. Charles Guess said every interview with David Sweat has been fruitful and has helped investigators corroborate information as the “enormous” investigation continues into the June 6 escape from Clinton Correctional Facility by Sweat and fellow inmate Richard Matt.

“His recollection has become improved over the last several interviews,” Guess said at a state police barracks in the Adirondacks.

Police now know about 85 percent of the winding route the two convicted killers took while on the run though the heavily wooded area west of the prison far upstate. Investigators have identified five to six hunting camps the men broke into, usually being selective in what they took so as not to tip off cabin owners of a break-in. Sweat said instead of stealing a map on a wall he would memorize it, Guess said.

“They’re both cunning individuals,” Guess said.

Matt was shot and killed by searchers June 26 about 30 miles west of the prison. Sweat was captured near the Canadian border two days later by state police Sgt. Jay Cook, who spotted the camouflage-clad escapee walking along a road.

“Sweat just indicated like, ‘Hey, what? Who, me?’ when he turned to respond to Sergeant Cook’s order to stop,” said Guess.

Cook immediately recognized Sweat and shot him twice after the escapee fled toward a stand of trees.