Man on death row for killing, raping 5-year-old Wayne Co. girl dies in prison

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – A man on death row for killing a 5-year-old Wayne County girl has died in prison.

State prison officials say Eric Lane died of natural causes early this morning in Central Prison Medical Center.

The 51-year-old Lane was sentenced to death for the 2002 murder, rape, and kidnapping of Precious Whitfield.

The child was last seen on May 17, 2002, riding her bike outside her grandmother’s house. Her body was found a couple of days later in a creek about seven miles away.

Lane later appealed his conviction and in 2011 the State Supreme Court upheld the conviction and the death sentence.