A female prison worker who’s being questioned in connection with the escape of two New York inmates had been previously investigated over her alleged relationship with one of the convicts, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a personal familiar with the matter.
Joyce Mitchell, 51, worked as an industrial-training supervisor in the tailor shop of the maximum-security prison where the two inmates escaped, according to Reuters.
Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, were reportedly being held in an “honour block” of the prison and were allowed to spend most of their time outside of their cells — including in the tailor shop.
Senior government officials told NBC News that Mitchell “thought it was love” with Matt, who reportedly wooed her for months and got her to agree to drive the getaway car. It appears that this plan did not come to fruition. Mitchell checked herself in to a hospital for nerves the day of the escape, NBC news reported, citing senior government officials. It’s unclear if the convicts acquired a vehicle somewhere else or got away on foot.
Officials who investigated Mitchell’s relationship with Matt didn’t find enough evidence to take action against Mitchell, according to sources who talked to the Journal.
The investigation was reportedly conducted within the past year.
Matt and Sweat, who were imprisoned for murder, escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora over the weekend. Hundreds of law-enforcement officials are involved in the search for the duo, which extends to Canada and Mexico as well as the US.
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