Roanoke County-Salem Jail inmate pronounced dead after authorities say he was found unresponsive

Staff members say they do not believe he died from COVID-19


ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – A Roanoke County-Salem Jail inmate is dead after authorities say he was found unresponsive on Sunday morning.

Authorities say the 48-year-old man was arrested on Thursday and was put in a docket cell at the request of medical staff, where he would be checked on every 30 minutes due to complaints of underlying medical issues.

The medical issues were not related to COVID-19, according to police.

During his 6:07 a.m. check, authorities say the inmate was sitting up and appeared to be breathing normally. For the following check at 6:28 a.m., authorities say he was slumped over and unresponsive.

According to police, medical staff was notified, CPR was administered and Salem-EMS was called. When Salem-EMS crews arrived to take the man to LewisGale Medical Center, they say he was unresponsive but had a pulse. He was pronounced dead at 8:12 a.m.

The jail says staff has “no reason to believe that this is related to COVID-19.” The medical examiner is investigating the cause of death.

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