Ex-correctional officer indicted after K9 left in hot car for hours dies, Delaware officials say

A former Delaware Correctional Officer and K9 handler is accused of leaving his K9 unattended inside a hot car for several hours, killing the law enforcement animal.

Darrel Wiley, 45, was indicted by a grand jury for assault against a law enforcement animal, cruelty to animals and related offenses. 

Officials say 4-year-old K9 named Lux had been in the car for more than four hours when Wiley returned to find him dead. Temperatures reportedly reached a high of more than 80 degrees.


Wiley was on duty at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center at the time of Lux's death. He was immediately placed on administrative leave, and investigations were launched.

An investigation found this was not an isolated incident, and that Wiley repeatedly left Lux confined in his vehicle from June to September 2022.

Officials say Wiley is no longer employed by the Delaware Department of Correction.