Jail inmate dies while in custody at St. Joseph County Jail following complaints of feeling unwell


By: Krystal Vivian kvivian@953mnc.com

A 60-year-old man who was an inmate at the St. Joseph County Jail died Wednesday night, Sept. 2, after he complained of feeling ill.

Medics tried to revive the man after his cellmate notified a nurse that the man was unresponsive, but their efforts didn’t work, according to a news release from the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office.

St. Joseph County Metro Homicide is investigating the death, which is protocol for all deaths in police custody, according to the news release. The prosecutor’s office was also called.

The man was not identified by police as they are attempting to locate and notify his family.

The inmate had asthma and was being treated with antibiotics for bronchitis and asked for his inhaler and Tylenol at about 8:15 p.m., according to the news release. He told the nurse that he was feeling unwell and the nurse gave him his inhaler and medication.

The inmate requested the nurse again a short time later while she was on rounds, but the news release did not indicate what the man wanted or how he was responded to. A short time later, the man’s cellmate called the nurse and said that the man was unresponsive. 

Several officers and medical staff used CPR and an AED to try to help the man recover. Paramedics with the South Bend Fire Department also attempted to resuscitate the man. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Officials believe the man died of natural causes, but an autopsy to confirm the cause of death is set for 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 4, in Kalamazoo.