LBPD Investigating Third In-Custody Death This Year

Long Beach Police Department homicide detectives are investigating an in-custody death of a woman who was found deceased during a routine cell check last week.

According to an LBPD press release, the unidentified woman was taken into custody outside police headquarters June 27 at approximately 2:35PM. The woman, who was “yelling and screaming,” was approached by officers and indicated she wanted to be taken inside. A routine warrant check revealed outstanding misdemeanor warrants, and she was arrested and booked without incident and put in a cell in the Women’s Jail.

During the nightly rounds, nothing out of the ordinary was noted about the female’s condition, police say. However, when jail staff attempted to wake the woman in the morning for breakfast around 5:15AM, she was unresponsive. A nurse and doctor were summoned, and the doctor determined the inmate was already deceased and no measures could be taken to save her life.

The woman’s death is the third LBPD in-custody death to occur in the past two months. In May, a man died after going into physical distress, and in April, another woman died in a holding cell after being arrested on a narcotics charge. In the earlier incident, detectives told the OC Weekly that an autopsy revealed the woman had a baggie of narcotics lodged in her esophagus. Her family still suspects foul play.  

The most recent inmate who died is being described only as a woman in her mid-40s and is believed to be a Long Beach resident. Her identity is being withheld until her next of kin is notified.    

The homicide investigation is routine for all in-custody deaths, and police say as of now there are no signs of foul play. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office is conducting an independent investigation and will determine the official cause of death.

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