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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


June 13, 2003 For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Correctional Officer Killed in the Line of Duty at Charlotte Correctional Institution

The Florida Department of Corrections today mourns the death of a correctional officer killed during a failed escape attempt at Charlotte CI on Wednesday night.

While supervising an inmate work squad on a construction detail inside the prison, Officer Darla Lathrem was brutally attacked and murdered. She was 38 years old and is survived by her loving mother and father.

"Although words can never express our shock or alleviate the grief that comes from a tragedy like this, we sincerely extend our warmest, deepest, heartfelt sympathy to all of those who knew and loved Darla." said Secretary Crosby. Darla Lathrem was a bright, responsible, caring officer whose desire to help her co-workers was only overshadowed by her professionalism and character."

"There is exhaustive investigation ongoing into the events leading to this officers death," the Secretary said.

Law enforcement and correctional honor guards from around the state have requested permission to attend the funeral services for Officer Lathrem. "The Florida Department of Corrections Honor Guard will be in attendance and will welcome other units to stand with them," said Secretary Crosby. "Funeral arrangements have not been made, but will be announced as soon as possible."

The state flag at the prison and at department headquarters in Tallahassee flies at half-mast.