Once feared to have made it to Mexico, escaped New York convict fatally shot by police

Convicted murderer Richard Matt in a handout photo from New York State Police. (AP/ NY STATE POLICE)

Convicted murderer Richard Matt in a handout photo from New York State Police. (AP/ NY STATE POLICE)

Richard Matt, one of two inmates who escaped from a maximum-security prison in New York earlier this month, has been shot and killed by police, law enforcement officials told Fox News.

Matt was said to have been killed close to hunting cabins in a rural area in Franklin County, New York where police had found evidence recently that Matt and the other inmate, David Sweat, apparently had been.

Earlier Friday, there were reports that the police were converging in an area about 30 miles west of Clinton Correctional Facility, from where the two men had escaped, following an elaborate scheme.

As of late Friday afternoon, Sweat remained at large, according to published reports.

Authorities on Friday said they had encountered more evidence left behind by Matt and Sweat in an area near the Canadian border where more than 1,100 law enforcement officers were concentrating their search.

State police Maj. Charles Guess said the items were found Thursday at a cabin and Friday morning in a field, both in the town of Malone. Guess says the items have been sent to a forensic lab for testing.

He did not reveal details about the items but referred to them as "significant."

Other evidence was found last weekend in a hunting cabin in the neighboring town of Bellmont.

Matt was well-known in Mexico – a country he apparently loved so much that he inked a tattoo on his back that said: “Mexico Forever.”

A quick look at his rap sheet explains his fondness for the country. Matt has actually spend more time in a Mexican jail, nine years, than in all the American prisons he has served time in since he first entered the correctional system at age 19.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at one point after the men’s escape that authorities were looking at the possibility Matt, 49, might have been headed to Mexico.

"One of the two (Matt) knows Mexico; they could have gone South," he told CNN during an interview.

Matt's Mexican stint took place between 1998 and 2007 in Matamoros, a border town across Texas where he had fled after abducting, torturing and dismembering 76-year-old William Rickerson in his native Tonawanda, N.Y.

Only a few months after that crime, in a night out in a Matamoros, Matt was arrested and jailed after he killed a fellow American during a bar fight.

He remained jailed in Mexico until 2007, when he was sent back to the United States for Rickerson’s murder 10 years earlier. He was convicted and sentenced to life the following year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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