W.Va. correctional officer dies of COVID-19

A third West Virginia correctional officer has died of COVID-19.
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 12:16 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - A third West Virginia correctional officer has died of COVID-19.

Correctional Officer II Paula Jo Tomlin, 51, had served at the Lakin Correctional Center since March 2020, and previously worked with the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation as an employee of one of its medical care providers, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Officials said Tomlin, of Middleport, Ohio, died Saturday at the Holzer Medical Center in Gallipolis.

She is survived by her husband of 27 years, Cpl. Timothy D. Tomlin, also a Lakin correctional officer.

“All of us share his grief and his loss in a most personal way,” Corrections Commissioner Betsy Jividen said in a message to DCR employees. “Our deepest and most heartfelt condolences go out to Cpl. Tomlin from everyone in the DCR at this most sorrowful time. Please keep Paula and Tim, their family members, and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers. Special prayers also for the friends and co-workers of Paula and Tim at Lakin, and throughout the DCR, as we mourn Paula’s loss and honor her service.”

Tomlin’s is the third confirmed death of a DCR employee related to COVID-19.

Cpl. Mark Rustemeyer, 58, had served at the Saint Marys Correctional Center in Pleasants County since 1998 when he died Jan. 2, 2021, while under treatment for COVID-19, the first correctional officer to die of COVID-19.

Lt. Delmar Dean, 49, was the second correctional officer to die of COVID-19. He was an officer at the Northern Regional Jail in Marshall County when he died Feb. 13, 2021, while hospitalized for COVID-19. Dean was a two-decade veteran of DCR.

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