CLEVELAND (AP) – Two inmates died within 12 hours this week at a county jail east of Cleveland, and one of the deaths may have been caused by a drug overdose, authorities said Tuesday.
Lake County sheriff’s officials said guards found a 25-year-old man lying on the floor of his cell around 5:30 p.m. Monday, and he was pronounced dead at a hospital. Sheriff Dan Dunlap said there were no bruises or signs of violence on the body of the man, who was jailed Dec. 15 after violating a no-contact order stemming from a domestic violence arrest.
“There’s nothing to indicate that there was foul play involved with his death,” Dunlap said.
Twelve hours later, two women were discovered unconscious in separate cells, the sheriff said. Guards administered Narcan, a drug that can reverse heroin and other opiate overdoses, to a 30-year-old woman who responded to the treatment and was taken to a hospital. Guards weren’t able to give the antidote, which is administered as an inhalant, to a 25-year-old woman because she’d stopped breathing. The Lake County coroner pronounced her dead at the jail in Painesville, which is about 30 miles east of Cleveland.
The Cuyahoga County medical examiner will determine how both inmates died. Dunlap wouldn’t release the inmates’ names.
The woman who died was booked into county jail on Nov. 3 for violating probation, Dunlap said. The woman who survived was jailed Sept. 8 on a theft charge.
Other inmates have told investigators that a 22-year-old woman who left the jail unescorted for a medical appointment on Monday might have brought back drugs hidden in a body cavity, Dunlap said. Guards aren’t allowed to perform body cavity searches on inmates without a court order. The 22-year-old could face serious charges related to the inmate’s death, the sheriff said.
Dunlap said his staff will examine jail policies, including daytime furloughs, as it investigates the deaths.
“You have to take a hard look at how you’re doing business,” he said.
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