ANCHORAGE — A woman named Thursday as an accomplice in a man's jailbreak had visited the inmate at Mat-Su Pretrial Facility at least two dozen times since his most recent incarceration in November, according to the Department of Corrections.
Kosha Lynae Jacob, 22, made her last visit to see Kent C. Matte on Tuesday, the day before Matte's escape, according to a corrections spokesman who cited jail visitation records. Jacob saw Matte 15 times in November and eight times in December, the records show.
Few other details about their relationship or the escape were made available by Alaska State Troopers, who were handling the investigation.
Matte, 44, broke out after breakfast Wednesday and was back behind bars before dinner.
A manhunt by multiple law enforcement agencies, led by troopers, tracked Matte across the Matanuska-Susitna Borough from the Palmer jail to a home in Wasilla, troopers said Thursday.
Jacob, a Wasilla resident, was arrested on charges of helping Matte escape and of hindering prosecution.
Matte got free by working apart links in a recreation yard cage, throwing his blue coat atop razor wire on a 12-foot fence and climbing over, according to the Department of Corrections.
Six corrections officers -- the minimum staffing level for the jail -- were watching over the 104 inmates there, Sam Edwards, a deputy commissioner of corrections, said Wednesday. The jail's capacity is 105 inmates but it has been over capacity with as many as 120 prisoners recently, Edwards said.
No officers were present with the three inmates in the recreation yard at the time of Matte's escape, Edwards said. Corrections policies do not require officers to monitor a camera in the yard continuously, he said.
Corrections officials do not have any reason to think Matte started to unweave the fence any earlier than Wednesday morning, Garland Armstrong, director of the department's division of institutions, said at a press conference Thursday.
Matte cut his hands and torso climbing over the second fence. Hospital staff stitched him up after the capture, Armstrong said.
Matte was back in custody at 2:30 p.m. after more than six hours on the lam.
Citing a trooper's affidavit, The Associated Press reported that a man at Jacob's home told authorities he transported the pair to an abandoned house near the Parks Highway and Stanley Road, where troopers later found Matte. The man said he didn't know until later that Matte had escaped from jail.
As authorities surrounded the house, Matte tried to flee but was arrested quickly and without injuring anybody, troopers said.
Matte now faces felony escape charges, according to court records.
Court records indicate Matte was awaiting trial for burglary, criminal mischief, theft of a firearm or explosive, possession of a controlled substance and failure to stop at the direction of a police officer.
After his capture and booking in Palmer, prisoner transport officers moved him to the Anchorage jail, where he was being held Thursday in a maximum-security segregation unit, which means he is isolated from the general population and with restricted movement, Armstrong said.
"Based on the events that occurred, his actions and behavior, obviously a better place for him at this particular moment is the Anchorage jail," Armstrong said. "There's a maximum-security segregation unit at the Anchorage jail and it's better housing for him at this time."
There's not much difference between the segregation unit and solitary confinement, Armstrong said.
While troopers released a description of Matte on Wednesday morning shortly after the escape, the agency declined to release a photo or an identity. Media received a picture and name just before he was caught.
Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters defended the decision to not release Matte's name or picture for several hours.
"Based on the information we have in front of us, and the information we are working with, we didn't feel we (had) an overwhelming reason to put it out to the public," Peters said. "We don't normally release photos of suspects unless there's an overwhelming danger to public safety."
An internal review of all aspects of the jail's operations -- including policies, fence construction and procedures, security in the recreation yard, staffing levels and officer placement -- is under way in the wake of the escape, Armstrong said.
"Once the review is done, we'll make the necessary changes and proceed from there," Armstrong said. Those changes would not be made public, he said.