K9 officer found dead inside handler’s vehicle at state correctional facility

Jul 14, 2023, 7:30 PM

Loki, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois and Utah Department of Corrections K9 officer was found dead i...

Loki, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois and Utah Department of Corrections K9 officer was found dead inside his handler's vehicle Thursday night. Photo credit: Department of Corrections.

SALT LAKE CITY — Officials with the Utah Department of Corrections say they are devastated after the death of a K9 officer inside his handler’s vehicle.

Loki, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, was discovered deceased inside his handler’s vehicle Thursday night outside the Utah State Correctional Facility

“We are heartbroken by the loss of Loki, who served this department faithfully for six years,”
said Executive Director Brian Redd in a news release. “We are mourning along with all of our staff, and at the
same time we are committed to fully investigating the circumstances of Loki’s passing.”

Loki joined the department’s K9 unit in 2017. According to the release, he was one of seven K9s in the department to assist in drug detection at both the State Correctional Facility and the Central Utah Correctional Facility. 

All indications say it was a heat-related death. 

“Again, we will learn from this incident, we will improve and come out stronger,” Redd said at a news conference Friday.

The Department of Public Safety is investigating. Redd says an internal review will be conducted into the death of the K9 officer. 

“We acknowledge there are a lot of emotions surrounding this incident,” he said. “And want to assure you, we are feeling them as well.”

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K9 officer found dead inside handler’s vehicle at state correctional facility