An autopsy was conducted Monday on a western Nebraska corrections officer who authorities say died after she was attacked and strangled by a teenage inmate.
The guard, 24-year-old Amanda Baker, was strangled at the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center about 2 a.m. Friday by a 15-year-old inmate, Scotts Bluff County Attorney Doug Warner said Sunday.
Warner said he intends to charge Dylan Cardeilhac of Torrington, Wyo., with first-degree murder on Tuesday, following Monday's Presidents Day holiday.
Warner said he would have more to say after the autopsy Monday. “I think I know the cause of death, but we will hear from the doctor first,” he said Sunday.
Warner has not been available to comment since the autopsy was performed.
Warner said Sunday that investigators have not determined why Baker was in Cardeilhac's cell when he is said to have grabbed her from behind and strangled her with his arm.
Her presence alone in the cell would be contrary to policy, Warner said.
“She was really too trusting of a person,” he said.
Warner said Baker was declared brain dead Friday afternoon and kept on life support until her organs could be donated for transplant.
Funeral services were pending at Dugan-Kramer Funeral Chapel in Scottsbluff.
Cardeilhac had been in jail since Dec. 3, awaiting trial on charges of robbing a Mitchell, Neb., Kwik Shop and using a weapon to commit a felony. He was arrested after bragging about the robbery on Facebook.
Warner said Cardeilhac was separated from the rest of the inmates at the detention center following the attack. He was not placed on suicide watch, Warner said.
“The whole community has really been in shock since this happened,” Warner said. “Everyone in the law enforcement community is saddened by this attack. Our hearts really go out to Amanda's family.”
Baker was taking classes at Western Nebraska Community College. In a press release, the college's president, Todd Holcomb, said everyone at the school is “deeply saddened and shocked by this loss. She will be greatly missed.”
A grief counselor was on call all weekend to meet in private with any members of the college's student body, faculty and staff. Those needing assistance should call 308-635-6090.
Starting Monday, those seeking counseling are invited to visit the Counseling Advising Vocational Exploration unit in the main building on the Scottsbluff campus.