ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WNCN) – A fourth prison employee has died following the Oct. 12 attempted escape at Pasquotank Correction Institution, officials confirmed.
Geoffrey Howe, a 31-year-old maintenance mechanic for the Correction Enterprises sewing plant at Pasquotank Correctional Institution, died Thursday at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital of injuries suffered during the escape attempt, state prison system officials said.
"Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the Howe family," said Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks. "This tragedy has horribly impacted the lives of four families., as well as co-workers and friends."
Howe had worked for the Department of Public Safety for a little more than a year.
Justin Smith, a 35-year-old correctional officer and Veronica Darden, a 50-year-old correction enterprises manager, were reported dead soon after the escape attempt. The death of Correctional Officer Wendy Shannon, 49, was reported earlier this week.
During the escape attempt, inmates started a fire at the prison's sewing plant. Several inmates attempted to escape following the fire, but officials said no inmates left the prison yard.
Officials have charged Wisezah Buckman, Seth J. Frasier, Mikel Brady and Jonathan M. Monk with first-degree murder. The four inmates have all been transferred to other prisons.