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Escaped wholesale halloween costumes killers left underwear in cabin owned by jailofficers
A group swimwear manufacturer China of correction officers — including a high-ranking guard at the Dannemora prison — own the upstate hunting camp where the two escaped killers hid out and left their DNA, sources said Monday.
The wholesale swimwear cabin is 20 miles west of the Clinton Correctional Facility, near the towns of Owls Head and Mountain View.
All of the owners are correction officers, according to the Plattsburgh Press-Republican. And a source told The Post that at least one of them holds a high position.
Cops raided the cabin on Saturday and matched DNA from Richard Matt and David Sweat to evidence seized there, including a pair of grungy, prison-issued white boxer shorts, sources said.
The discovery indicated the men had been at the cabin within the previous 24 hours.
Investigators also found boots, bloody socks and the fingerprints of at least one fugitive in the cabin, the Press-Republican said.
The paper identified one of the men who co-owns the cabin as John Stockwell.
Also Monday, law enforcement sources told The Post that the lovestruck prison worker accused of helping Sweat and Matt had smuggled them tools inside hunks of frozen hamburger meat.
Investigators believe that prison employee Joyce “Tillie” Mitchell — who had sex with both men behind bars — tricked a correction officer into handing over the contraband to Sweat and Matt, who were housed in an “honor block” where they could cook their own meals, CNN reported.
The scheme is believed to have been carried out about a week before the inmates were discovered missing June 6, and the package somehow avoided a metal detector, CNN said.
A veteran Clinton correction officer, Gene Palmer, 57, who was assigned to the honor block, was suspended on Friday as part of an ongoing “top-to-bottom” investigation of the escape.
His lawyer didn’t return requests for comment, and it was unclear whether he was among the guards who own the cabin.
Cops descended on the place when a man who went to check on the cabin reported seeing a stranger run away, said Terry Bellinger, owner of nearby Belly’s Mountain View Inn.
Bellinger said the man — who was identified by the Press-Republican as Stockwell — was shaking when he described the incident following a two-hour sitdown with investigators.
“He said, ‘I’m not saying it was them, but someone broke into our camp, and I saw one guy running away,’ ” Bellinger recalled.
The cabin, described as “very spartan,” with an outhouse and makeshift shower, is located off a dirt road three miles from Belly’s west of Mountain View Lake.
State Police Maj. Chuck Guess told an afternoon news conference that authorities had recovered and tested “specific items” found at the cabin.
Guess refused to say what the evidence was, but called it “a confirmed lead for us.”
“It’s generated a massive law enforcement response, as you see, and we’re going to run it to ground,” he added.