(Reuters) - In a letter postmarked before his June 6 escape from a New York state prison, convicted murderer Richard Matt told his daughter "See you on the outside," the Buffalo News reported.
But Matt never reached her home in the Buffalo suburb where she sought round-the-clock protection after learning he staged a brazen escape with fellow inmate David Sweat from Clinton Correctional Facility, touching off a nearly three-week manhunt.
Matt, 49, was shot and killed by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent on June 26 about 27 miles northwest (43 km) northwest of the prison in Dannemora, New York. Sweat, 35, was shot and captured on Sunday another 23 miles (37 km) away, close to the Canadian border.
Matt's daughter, who was not identified in the story published late on Thursday on the newspaper's website, received the letter on June 9, three days after the convicted killers were discovered missing.
They cut holes in their cell walls, clambered down a catwalk, slithered through a steam pipe and emerged from a manhole outside the maximum security prison walls.
“I always promised you I would see you on the outside. I’m a man of my word,” Matt wrote in the letter postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service prior to the escape, the Buffalo newspaper reported, citing law enforcement officials.
The woman had no idea that her father was planning to break out of prison, the Buffalo News said.
Matt was serving 25 years to life for torturing, killing and dismembering his boss in Tonawanda, New York, outside Buffalo. Sweat was serving life without parole for the murder of a Broome County sheriff's deputy.
Matt's daughter maintained an ongoing correspondence with her father, the News said.
She also was contacted on his behalf by Joyce Mitchell, 51, one of two prison workers who is charged in connection with the escape. Mitchell, a training supervisor in the prison tailor shop, is accused of smuggling hacksaw blades and a screwdriver bit in frozen hamburger meat she brought into the prison.
Mitchell began calling and texting Matt's daughter several months ago at his request, giving her updates on his medical condition including his bad back, the News said.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Alan Crosby)