An inmate whose crime helped launch Vermont's DNA database has died in prison.
Corrections officials confirmed that Howard Godfrey, 67, originally of Kirby, died early Tuesday morning at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield. They say his death appears to be from natural causes and there are no signs of foul play, but the case remains under investigation as police await the results of an autopsy.
Godfrey was sentenced to life in prison for the 1991 rape and murder of Patty Scoville in Stowe. The case went unsolved until 2005 when DNA evidence led to Godfrey's arrest. That case prompted Scoville's parents to push for the DNA databank that ultimately led to their daughter's killer. Godfrey's lawyer says his client maintained his innocence.