A Louisiana prisoner kidnapped and killed an assistant warden’s 18-year-old stepdaughter after he escaped from prison, PEOPLE confirms.
Deltra Henderson, 39, was later found dead following a shootout with law enforcement.
“It has been a terrible couple of days in Claiborne Parish,” Sheriff Ken Bailey tells PEOPLE. “This was a senseless killing. That is all this was. Senseless.”
Bailey says Amanda Carney was at the home she shared with her parents — across from David Wade Correctional Center in Homer where some prison employees live — when Henderson, a prison trustee, abducted her Thursday afternoon.
“She lived on the compound and he was a trustee and he worked cleaning flower beds and mowing grass,” he says. “He was on the other side of the prison and they have trustees that go over there and work in the flower beds. He abducted her and got in her car and left.”
“They are trustees and they gain trustee status from having good behavior,” adds Bailey. “I think they need to change the word because they can’t be trusted.”
Carney’s body was found about two and a half miles from the prison in an oil field underneath pine needles. She had been stabbed numerous times in her neck, according to Bailey.
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Bailey says shortly after the abduction, Henderson crashed Carney’s car in nearby woods, abandoned the vehicle, and then returned to prison grounds and stole a car from Carney’s neighbor. The inmate then crashed the second car and entered a nearby trailer and found a gun. As prison guards closed in on him, Henderson fired at the guards and then barricaded himself inside the trailer.
“He fired the first shots because they were walking around, looking around trying to find him,” Bailey says. “He fired but didn’t hit them. And they went inside the trailer and engaged gunfire.”
Bailey says Henderson was fatally shot during the encounter.
Henderson, who had been incarcerated since 2001, was serving time on one count each of attempted armed robbery, aggravated burglary, and cocaine distribution.
He was due to be released on March 28, 2025.
Secretary James M. Le Blanc of Department of Public Safety and Corrections said it was a “dark day” for the prison.
“Our hearts hurt today as we grieve, and mourn the loss of one of our own,” he said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this young lady, David Wade staff, and all those affected by this tragedy.”
Carney had just graduated high school in the spring and had plans to go to college in Arkansas to study nursing in the fall.
“I was at the high school graduation and I saw her walk across the gym,” says Bailey. “She was athletic, a softball player, and she was a good all around kid.”
“It was wrong place at the wrong time,” he adds. “It is just tragic.”