Breaking News Emails
Escaped murderer Richard Matt is "psychotic," a former accomplice told NBC News, expressing fears that the fugitive could seek revenge while on the lam.
Matt and fellow inmate David Sweat have been on the run for five days after busting out of a maximum-security prison in upstate New York. Investigators have been chasing down hundreds of tips and mobilizing search teams across the region to scour the area — but so far the trail has been cold.
A convicted murderer and former accomplice who testified against Matt in court told NBC News he fears for his safety as long as Matt is out there.
"There's no telling what kind of revenge he might want to exact on ... people that I love, people that are close to me," said the former accomplice, who requested anonymity because he feared for his life. "This is a very psychotic individual."
Authorities have been reaching out to those who knew the inmates — including Joyce Mitchell, a supervisor in the prison's tailor shop who worked with both Sweat and Matt and has been named a person of interest.
Matt's family also has been visited by police. The escaped convict's son, Nicholas Harris, told NBC station WGRZ of Buffalo, New York, that he first learned of his father's escape when police came to his home. Then he turned on the TV.
"Our jaws drop when we're watching reports," Harris said, adding that he and his mother were "just waiting, like everyone else," for news.
"It's shocking," he said. "With the technology we have, it's pretty bizarre they got out."
Harris said he doesn't believe his father would come to his home — explaining that he only "vaguely" knows Matt and that he was too young to know "what was going on" when his father was sent to prison.
"I don't know him well enough" to worry about what might happen when Matt is caught, Harris said. "I'm waiting in anticipation to see what happens."