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Man Confirmed as Person of Interest in Prison Death

By: KKTV
By: KKTV

Update 9/26:
Our sister station, KCNC, in Denver tells us Miguel Contreras-Perez is confimed as a "person of interest" in the death of a veteran corrections officer at the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility in Crowley.

We also learned from KCNC that Contreras-Perez worked in the kitchen at the prison and worked with Sgt. Mary Ricard at a prison in Buena Vista.

Contreras-Perez has been transferred to a different prison in Canon City that houses the state's most violent and dangerous criminals.

There will be a memorial service for Sgt. Ricard on Monday at 10 a.m. at Crowley High School.

Previous Story:
A correctional officer who was killed at a state prison had worked for the Colorado Department of Corrections since late 2003.

The department identified the kitchen worker Tuesday as 55-year-old Sgt. Mary K. Ricard. She died Monday in an assault involving an inmate while breakfast was being prepared at the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility in Crowley.

KUSA-TV in Denver is citing unnamed sources as saying a former Fort Carson soldier, is suspected in the attack. We looked up his past and Miguel Contreras-Perez was sentenced in 2004 for kidnapping and sex assault. He confessed to kidnapping a teenage girl from a bus stop in Colorado Springs and raping her two years earlier. At the time of his arrest in Utah he said he was AWOL from Ft. Carson.

The district attorney's office has not filed any new charges against this inmate. The Department of Corrections wouldn't say anything about Monday's attack except that it's still under investigation.

As the investigation continues, sources say Contreras-Perez has been moved to the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City.

Facility Warden Steve Hartley tells The Denver Post that Ricard was there on her day off. Ricard started working for the Department of Corrections at the Buena Vista Correctional Facility on Nov. 1, 2003. She transferred to Arkansas Valley in 2007.

Gov. John Hickenlooper traveled to visit with the prison staff Monday. He issued a statement saying state officials were "doing all we can to support the families and employees."


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