(CUMBERLAND, MD) – Maryland State Police and Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services investigators are continuing their investigation into the apparent homicide of an inmate that occurred early this morning at a state prison in Allegany County.
The victim is identified as Ricky Bailey, 51, who was an inmate at the North Branch Correctional Institution. According to prison officials, Bailey was serving a sentence of life without parole.
A suspect has been identified and is an inmate at the same correctional facility. Charges against him are pending. He will be identified publicly when charges are filed.
Maryland State Police Homicide Unit investigators were summoned to the North Branch Correctional Institution by prison officials this morning to conduct the investigation. They are being assisted by investigators from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Internal Investigations Unit.
The preliminary investigation indicates that shortly after 4:00 a.m. today, inmates in the housing unit were having breakfast delivered to their cells. An inmate told correctional officers that his cell mate needed to be removed from the cell. Officers entered the cell and found Bailey seated at the rear of the cell, leaning on the lower bunk.
Officers determined Bailey was unresponsive and appeared to have sustained injuries to his head, neck and extremities. Prison medical staff responded and began resuscitation efforts. An ambulance was summoned and responded to the prison from Cumberland. Bailey was pronounced deceased at the scene.
State Police crime scene technicians responded to the scene and processed the cell for evidence. Investigators are continuing to interview correctional officers and inmates. A specific cause of death is not known at this time. The victim’s body will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy to determine a cause and manner of death.
The investigation is continuing.