Authorities say the prison employee charged with helping two murderers escape from a New York prison smuggled tools to them by hiding the items in frozen hamburger meat.

Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wiley has told reporters that Joyce Mitchell told investigators she put hacksaw blades and a screwdriver in the meat, then placed it in a refrigerator in the tailor shop where she worked at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.

Wiley says a corrections officer brought the meat to David Sweat and Richard Matt, who were housed in a section of the maximum-security prison where inmates are allowed to cook their own meals. The DA says the guard didn't know the tools were inside the meat. He has been placed on paid leave.

Sweat and Matt used power tools to make their escape June 6 and remain at large Wednesday.