Family, friends lay Bertie correctional officer to rest

EDENTON, N.C. (AP) — It was a somber day for friends and family of Sgt. Meggan Callahan.

Funeral services got underway at noon Thursday at Edenton United Methodist Church in Edenton for the former Bertie County correctional officer who was attacked by an inmate.

Law enforcement, correctional officers, friends, and family packed the church to remember Callahan.

“She just smiled every time you saw her,” said Kim Hickman, a family friend of Callahan. “She walked in a room; the room lit up. She was just always happy-go-lucky.”

With somber faces and expressions of disbelief, people came to say their final goodbyes.

“Everybody is in shock,” said Sissy Dupraw, a former neighbor of Callahan. “Everybody is sad. Everybody just can’t understand how this could happen.”

A horse-drawn caisson brought Callahan’s body to the church where the service was held.

“I just wish Meggan could be here to see it,” said Dupraw. “I really do. She would be so proud today.”

She said Callahan’s young life was robbed.

“She had her whole life ahead of her,” said Dupraw.”You know she had a fiancé. She was getting ready to get married. She had everything going for her and that was all ripped from her in just a few minutes.”

Callahan left a big footprint in her hometown of Edenton, and family friends want people to remember who she was not how she left.

“Her mom doesn’t want anybody upset over it, cause she said that Meggan did what she loved doing,” said Hickman.

The Police Benevolent Association has set up a memorial fund for Callahan’s family. You can donate here.

The Department of Public Safety said last week that 29-year-old Callahan was responding to a trash can fire in a dormitory at Bertie Correctional Institution on April 26. Officials say Callahan grabbed a fire extinguisher to try to put out the fire before inmate Craig Wissink attacked. DPS says Wissink took the extinguisher and used it in the assault. More information about that here.

Craig Wissink (image courtesy North Carolina Department of Public Safety)

Callahan died an hour after the attack despite efforts by paramedics to save her.

Windsor police have charged Wissink in the sergeant’s death.