A 53-year-old man died in the Fairfax County jail Saturday morning, apparently of natural causes, Fairfax County police said. He would be the third man to die in the county jail of natural causes in the last year, if an autopsy corroborates initial police suspicions.
The man’s name was not released pending notification of his family. Fairfax Officer Don Gotthardt said the man was discovered in his cell, in a direct supervision wing of the jail, around 6:40 a.m. in apparent cardiac arrest. He said that sheriff’s deputies immediately started cardio-pulmonary resuscitation techniques on him, followed by paramedics who arrived at 6:45 a.m.
The paramedics continued to work on the man until he was pronounced dead in the jail at 7:12 a.m., Gotthardt said. The man had been in the Fairfax jail since September of last year, but his charges were not available.
Last November, inmate Monty Roy Saito, 50, collapsed in his cell, struck his head on the floor and died. The Virginia medical examiner ruled that he had died of blunt force trauma and that the death was an accident.
Last October, inmate Paul Guida, 68, died while in the jail infirmary. His death was determined to be natural causes by a variety of medical conditions.
The Fairfax jail has an inmate population of roughly 1,100 men and women at any one time.
In February 2015, handcuffed and shackled inmate Natasha McKenna, 37, died after being Tasered four times by deputies while she resisted being transferred to Alexandria. She had a history of mental health issues. The medical examiner ruled the death accidental, saying that McKenna died from a combination of “excited delirium” while resisting deputies along with the intense electrical shocks. A wrongful death suit by her family is pending against Fairfax Sheriff Stacey Kincaid and the deputies involved.