Reports: Prison employee accused of helping murderers escape has been arrested

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CLINTON COUNTY, N.Y. –  The New York prison tailor who authorities allege may have helped a pair of convicted murderers escape prison has been arrested.

According to CNN sources, the specific charge is unknown at this time, but officials say Joyce Mitchell will be arraigned on Friday evening.

Mitchell “provided some form of equipment or tools” to a pair of convicted murderers who escaped, Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie said Friday.

“There is information as far as the contraband that (Joyce Mitchell) did provide to both (Richard) Matt and (David) Sweat,” said Wylie.

Hacksaw blades were among the items Mitchell gave to the convicts, two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation told CNN. She also gave Matt two pairs of eyeglasses with lights affixed to them as well as drill bits, one of the sources said. They were purchased over the past few months.

Matt and Sweat used power tools to cut through cell walls that included a steel plate and sever a 24-inch steam pipe — once to get in and once to get out — and surfaced through a manhole.

Mitchell knew the inmates from working with them tailoring clothes as an industrial training supervisor at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora. Investigators have been focusing on her ever since a 5:30 a.m. Saturday bed check, when it was discovered the convicts had escaped, and she has been “extremely cooperative,” according to Wylie.

Matt and Sweat are still on the run, but authorities hope tracking dogs will be able to follow the prisoners’ scents.

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