Day 10: What We Know About the Prisoner Hunt

Joyce Mitchell
Joyce Mitchell, suspected of smuggling contraband into the prison where convicts Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped last weekend, is arraigned in City Court in Plattsburgh, New York, on June 12. Mike Groll/Pool/Reuters

It has been more than a week since Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped from a maximum-security prison in Dannemora, New York. Authorities have followed a few hundred tips and reports of possible sightings. But so far, the massive manhunt has come up empty.

Officials are perplexed at the inmates' Hollywood-style escape, and they have charged a jail worker with helping Matt and Sweat escape from the prison. The employee, Joyce Mitchell, is charged with helping the pair escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility by providing them with chisels and hacksaw blades. Mitchell reportedly had agreed to drive the getaway car and had planned to meet the men at a power plant near the prison, but she had second thoughts and never showed up.

Mitchell has been suspended from her job without pay. On Friday, she pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of promoting prison contraband and a misdemeanor count of criminal facilitation. She appeared in court again on Monday morning. The case against her now is headed for a county court.

A source familiar with the investigation told NBC that prison officials previously investigated Mitchell for a sexual incident with Sweat. Then Matt allegedly charmed her so much that she thought they were in love.

Here's what else we know since Matt and Sweat escaped 10 days ago on June 6:

Matt, 48, was serving 25 years to life for three counts of murder, kidnapping and robbery. Sweat, 34, was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder of a sheriff's deputy. The two inmates shared adjoining cells.

On the morning of June 6, guards doing a routine check at the Clinton Correctional Facility discovered Matt and Sweat missing from their beds. The maximum-security jail is less than 25 miles from the Canadian border. Matt and Sweat had left behind bundled up clothing as decoys under their cot blankets.

Sometime between last Friday and Saturday morning, Matt and Sweat, in a scene similar to one in the 1994 thriller Shawshank Redemption, cut a hole through a wall, crawled through the opening, scaled a catwalk and drilled through metal walls and a steam pipe using power tools. They then made their way through underground tunnels and lifted up a manhole cover, ultimately emerging onto the street. They left a taunting note on a pipe that read: "Have a nice day."

All of the tools used by the inmates have been accounted for, which led authorities to believe they had assistance in their escape.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo traveled to Dannemora and toured the prison. He deemed the prisoners dangerous to the public and urged residents to report any possible sightings to officials. Cuomo also issued a $100,000 reward for information leading to their arrest.

More than 500 FBI agents, state troopers, forest rangers and correction officers have searched for them in multiple states. Authorities on Tuesday followed a lead to the small town of Willsboro, New York, where residents reported a possible sighting.

By Thursday, officials received a tip that led them to an urgent new search in the area just 3 miles southeast of the prison. Authorities closed local schools and roads, and warned residents not to go outside. Schools in Dannemora were closed for a second day on Friday but reopened this week.

Officials also brought the manhunt to Vermont, where Matt and Sweat allegedly had planned to flee once they broke out of jail. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin on Thursday said there wasn't evidence they were in his state.

A licensed engineer who has worked at the Clinton Correctional Facility told the Associated Press the work of cutting through a cell and steam pipe was a professional job and would have taken about four hours of continuous work to complete. Matt and Sweat either were efficient with their tools or had help, he said.