Columbia County inmate dies in custody

An unidentified inmate at the Columbia County jail died around noon Wednesday, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). 

“Staff at the detention facility attempted to perform lifesaving measures on the inmate, but were unsuccessful,” a CCSO release said. “Although details of the incident are limited at this time, the death is believed to be natural and no foul play is suspected.”

In response to an inquiry from Mainstreet Daily News, Sgt. Steven Khachigan said the CCSO could not release any other details, including how long the inmate had been in custody and what time of charges the person was facing. 

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“We extend our condolences to the inmate’s loved ones and I have requested [Florida Department of Law Enforcement] to lead the investigation to ensure an impartial finding of the facts,” Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter said in a statement. “We will continue to follow our protocols to make sure we provide the best care we can to those in our custody.”

The CCSO release said the investigation is active and the identity of the inmate would be withheld until next of kin notifications occurred.

The incident marked the second time this year an inmate has died at the Columbia County Detention Facility. In January, a 28-year-old man facing attempted murder charges died of what the CCSO said was a medical event.

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