AMITY — After an extensive search in Friendship of the area of an unconfirmed sighting of escaped prisoners and convicted killers David Sweat and Richard Matt, New York State Police today announced the area is clear.


The search began after state police received a call at around 1:16 p.m. Saturday from a witness who spotted two men on a railroad line that runs along county Route 20. The description given was similar to the description of Sweat and Matt, the two men who escaped June 6 from the Clinton County Correctional Facility in Dannemora.


“Law enforcement have extensively searched the area and determined the area to be clear,” state police said this morning in a press release. “The secure perimeter and roadblocks that were established around the area of the possible sighting along Route 20 in the towns of Friendship and Amity, and at exits 29 and 30 on I-86, have been taken down.”


Troop A Commander Michael J. Cerretto said at a Sunday press conference that the search within the perimeter would continue until all leads were exhausted. Approximately 300 members of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies were brought into Friendship and Amity for the search.


“As the investigation and search continues for David Sweat and Richard Matt, state police would like to remind the public to remain vigilant,” state police said. “Tips and leads continue to come in across the state along with unconfirmed sightings, but a primary focus of the search continues to be in the Dannemora area.


“The State Police is asking residents who live in the Dannemora area to continue to be on alert. If these men are spotted, please call 911 immediately. Do not approach, as both are considered to be very dangerous,” they said, as Cerretto had on Sunday. “The public should not hesitate to report any suspicious activity including any signs of a trespass, burglary or vehicle larceny. Contact 911, your local law enforcement agency, or the New York State Police to report any information related to this investigation at (518) 563-3761 or 1-800-GIVETIP. Tips can also be sent by email to crimetip@troopers.ny.gov.”