By Debbie Schipp

The escaped prisoner was free for just a matter of hours, but it was long enough to kidnap and kill a prison warden's teenage daughter.

Amanda Carney, 18, died at the hands of escaped prisoner Deltra Henderson, 39, after he walked out of David Wade Correctional Center in Louisiana on Thursday afternoon, reports news.com.

He stole a car and abducted Carney, who lived on the prison grounds with her family, including her assistant-warden stepdad, James Arnold, Claiborne Parish Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

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The 18-year-old's body was found in a bush area near the prison where Henderson crashed the car. It's not known at what stage of the afternoon she was stabbed to death.

Henderson then stole a second vehicle and crashed it, before he holed up in a home on the grounds of the prison, found a gun, and the standoff began.

He barricaded himself inside after a gunfight with prison guards.

Police found his body inside the home after the stand-off ended, AP reports.

It's thought he was fatally wounded while he traded gunfire with prison guards, before police arrived.

The convicted criminal had been jailed in 2001 for attempted armed robbery, aggravated burglary and cocaine distribution. He wasn't due for release until at least 2025.

Meanwhile Carney had just graduated high school and was planning to head to Southern Arkansas University to study nursing.

Her loss left a community reeling.

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"Everybody knows everybody (here)," Sheriff Ken Bailey said. "It's just tragic."

Corrections Secretary James LeBlanc said it was a "dark day" for the state's prison system.

"Our hearts hurt today as we grieve, and mourn the loss of one of our own," LeBlanc said in a statement.

Carney's high school is planning a vigil for her next week.

"There's no words to express the sorrow in our hearts today,' Summerfield High Principal Shane Lee told KSLA.

"We lost one of our own. A young lady that we cherish. A lady that excelled in academics, athletics, and was a true role model to fellow classmates."

Henderson had been serving a 30-year prison sentence for his multiple offences, after pleading guilty to a 1999 armed robbery at a Farmerville home where a 14-year-old girl and her mother were seriously wounded by gunfire during the robbery.

In 2015, Henderson petitioned a judge for a reduced sentence, expressing remorse and highlighting his status as a first offender, according to reports.

He wrote that he had completed programmes in prison "to become a better person" and said he had been a "young man, running around with the wrong crowd" at the time of his crimes.

He was listed as a "trusty" at the prison: an inmate given special privileges, according to authorities.