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Sheriff's office reports inmate suicide at jail

2-18-2011 Iowa:

A man awaiting sentencing on a sex abuse charge hanged himself in his jail cell with a sheet, officials with the Story County Sheriff’s Office said today.

Mark Ronald Dubendorf, 63, of 72999 340th St., Collins, reportedly was found hanging from a sheet tied around his neck at around 8:17 a.m. by jail staff.

Dubendorf reportedly had used the closure hardware of his door to attach the sheet.

According to a release from the sheriff’s office, Dubendorf was unresponsive when he was found. He was extricated from the sheet and jailers performed CPR on him before first responders arrived. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead at 9:27 a.m.

Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald said foul play is not suspected. However, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was called in to assist with the investigation.

Fitzgerald said it’s unknown how long Dubendorf had been hanging by the sheet. He did not have a cellmate. A detention officer checked Dubendorf’s cell at 7:12 a.m. and did not see anything. While the cell door is not transparent, there is a window into the cell and the guard would have seen Dubendorf.

Dubendorf had given no previous indication he was suicidal, Fitzgerald said.

“We have procedures in place for any individual with mental health issues or who expresses suicidal thoughts,” Fitzgerald said. “This individual had none of that. This is a person for who we didn’t expect this at all.”

Dubendorf had been charged with a total of 15 counts of sexual abuse for incidents that took place between August 2004 and June 2010. He pleaded guilty in January to a single class C felony charge. According to court documents, Dubendorf had repeatedly abused a female younger than 12 years old for several years.

A sentencing hearing in the case had been set for Monday, Feb. 28.

Fitzgerald said that in his 18 years as sheriff, there have been no other suicides in the jail. ..Source.. by Luke Jennett

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