Sgt. Mary K. Ricard died Monday in an assault involving an inmate while breakfast was being prepared at the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility in Crowley. Sgt. Lori Gann was seriously injured in the incident.
Miguel Alonso Contreras-Perez, who was serving 35 years to life for kidnapping and sexual assault, has been named a person of interest in Ricard's death.
Officials told 9NEWS that Contreras-Perez was working in the prison's kitchen at the time of the murder.
A coroner says Ricard died of a stab wound to the neck.
The Denver Post reports Ricard was determined to work with inmates. She taught them cooking skills they could use when they got out of prison.
Private funerals are scheduled in Arvada and Buena Vista. A public memorial will be held Monday in Ordway near the prison.
Governor John Hickenlooper wants all public buildings to lower their flags to half staff on Monday in honor of Sgt. Mary K. Ricard.
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)