Richmond Police Officer Seara Burton and K9 Brev. File photo supplied by Indiana State Police

Richmond Police Department Officer Seara Burton is still alive and being surrounded by family as of early Thursday evening.

At about 5 p.m., Richmond Mayor Dave Snow shared, “Although she was removed from life-sustaining efforts this morning, she is still with us. We know the time of her passing is imminent; however, right now, her family is spending precious time with her. Please help us maintain calm, respect, and privacy as Officer Burton rests quietly with her loved ones. This situation is changing by the moment, and as soon as we have an official update, a press and social media release will come directly from Police Chief Mike Britt. His release will be followed by my comments and request for a public display of mourning. I know this is a very difficult time for our community; right now, we all need to give her family as much peace as possible.”

Chief Michael Britt announced at 3:15 p.m. Thursday that Burton was still alive and surrounded by family.

“Multiple news agencies have incorrectly reported her passing and incorrectly cited me as a source of this information,” Britt shared in a news release at about 3:15 p.m. Thursday. “We know that this is of great interest to the community and we will give an official update once more information is available.”

That announcement comes after an RPD official emailed regional media at 1:30 p.m. Thursday that the department had no update to share about the status of Burton.

A video shared by Premier Health to regional TV stations showed local officers and hospital staff line the hallways for her honor walk before becoming an organ donor.

Regional television stations had begun announcing Burton’s death beginning around noon through breaking news alerts. However, Wayne County newspapers had not shared that information while awaiting updates from police officials.

Prayer opportunities
Earlier Thursday, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (800 N. A St., Richmond) announced it would be open until 6 p.m. Thursday for anyone to come in and pray or be prayed with.

Two prayer services are being offered for Officer Seara Burton: Noon and 5:30.

Church leaders said in a Facebook post, “Please keep Seara, her family and friends, the Richmond Police Department, Miami Valley Hospital, and all of the Richmond Community in prayer on this difficult day of transition for Seara.”

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Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.