MONROE – A female corrections officer was found dead in the Monroe Correction Complex late Saturday and an offender who allegedly planned to escape was being held in segregation while police investigate.
Jayme Biendl, 34, had been a corrections officer since 2002, the state Deparment of
Corrections said prepared statement announcing the death just after noon Sunday. Biendl was found unresponsive at her post just after 10 p.m. Saturday. Crews attempted CPR but she was declared dead at about 10:49 p.m.
The death came about an hour after an inmate turned up missing during a routine count. He was found minutes later in the chapel lobby. He reportedly told officers that he planned to escape.
Prison officials said Biendl’s death was discovered after they inventoried equipment and realized that a correctional officer’s keys and radio were missing. That discovery caused them to immediately go to her work area. They began attempts to revive her and called 911.
Monroe Correctional Complex was in lockdown Sunday while police investigate.
Gov. Chris Gregoire offered these thoughts in a prepared statement:
“It is with a heavy heart that I offer my condolences to the family and friends of Officer Jayme Biendl. I am truly saddened by her senseless murder. This young woman was devoted to an agency that works around the clock to ensure our communities are safe, which makes her death all the more tragic. I ask all Washingtonians to join me in keeping her loved ones in our thoughts and prayers.
“I have been in constant contact with Department of Corrections Secretary Eldon Vail. I have asked him for a thorough review of this tragic incident, as well as a look at the safeguards in place at the Monroe Correctional Complex. Our corrections officers perform inherently dangerous work and I commend them for their service.”