CRIME

Would-Be Getaway Driver In New York Prison Escape Changed Mind At Last Minute: Report

06/10/2015 09:14 am ET | Updated Jun 10, 2015

A woman who worked at the New York prison where two convicted killers escaped last week was supposed to be their getaway driver, but changed her mind at the last minute, an unnamed law enforcement source told CNN.

Joyce Mitchell, a 51-year-old mother of two who was a supervisor in the tailoring program at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, is one of several employees questioned by authorities in the escape of David Sweat, 34, and Richard Matt, 48.

The two inmates used power tools to cut through steel pipes at the maximum-security prison near the Canadian border and escape through a manhole last Friday.

Matt allegedly won Mitchell's heart in order to get the tools they needed to escape, unnamed sources told The New York Post on Tuesday.

A law enforcement source told CNN that Mitchell was supposed to be waiting for them when they emerged, but had a last-minute change of heart.

Mitchell's son told NBC News that his mother had checked herself into a hospital with severe chest pains at the time of the escape.

"She's not going to risk her life or other people's lives to help these guys escape," Tobey Mitchell told NBC News.

So far, Joyce Mitchell has been "somewhat cooperative" and has not been charged, the law enforcement source told CNN. Investigators are now trying to determine whether she knew that her cell phone had been used to make contact with people that the escapees knew prior to the breakout.

The New York Daily News reports that Matt and Sweat sewed Metro-North uniforms, and convinced a female prison employee to give them the power tools they used to escape from the facility.

The manhunt for the convicted killers continued Wednesday morning. Residents of Dannemora reported seeing Sweat and Matt in their yard early Saturday, shortly after the inmates escaped.

Sweat was serving a sentence of life without parole for killing a sheriff's deputy. Matt was convicted of the kidnapping, murder and dismemberment of a former boss.

The chief of detectives who investigated Matt in the murder of his former boss described him to The New York Times as "the most vicious, evil person [he'd] ever come across in 38 years as a police officer."

"These guys could con the devil out of hell," a veteran state correction officer said of the escaped inmates, according to the Daily News.

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