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Previous story: New York prison break – how two murderers escaped

Police have found a “conclusive” DNA trace of at least one of the two murderers who escaped from a maximum security prison two weeks ago, state police announced on Monday, as their manhunt descended on a cabin and hunting ground in rural New York.

Forensic investigators matched DNA evidence at a cabin to either Richard Matt, 48, or David Sweat, 35, police major Charles Guess said at a press conference, though he declined to say to which convict the DNA belonged.

The cabin, apparently burglarized, stands in a isolated resort in the forest about 30 miles from Clinton Correctional Facility, from which Matt and Sweat broke out in an elaborate escape on 6 June.

“It is a confirmed lead for us,” Guess said, adding that it appeared the killers “may have spent time” at the cabin.

“We’re going to run this to ground,” he said.

Police spokesman Beau Duffy confirmed that the search effort has primarily descended on Franklin County “near an area of Owl’s Head”, a mountainous region of northern New York along the Adirondacks.

Duffy said police were investigating a lead “involving a seasonal hunting camp”.

Guess also said police had received security camera footage from the area that showed men resembling Matt and Sweat, but that the sightings remain unconfirmed.

“We cannot get into specifics of the evidence that we recovered,” he said, because “we don’t want to put information out into the public that could jeopardize our investigation”.

Guess warned camp owners and anyone visiting the area to immediately call police should they find anything at their camp amiss, and also asked owners and anyone with trail cameras to help monitor footage.

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