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Jail death under investigation

3-20-2011 Indiana:

SOUTH BEND -- Authorities are investigating an apparent suicide early Friday involving a 41-year-old inmate at the St. Joseph County Jail.

According to a news release, correction officers discovered Michael David Ray hanging in his medical cell from a self-made ligature about 12:08 a.m.

Officers, jail nurses and South Bend Fire Department medics responded immediately and tried to resuscitate him, but without success.

Jail video has been reviewed, the release states, noting that all proper procedures were followed for checking on inmates.

Correction officers reportedly checked on Ray multiple times between 10 p.m. and midnight, during which time he gave no indication that he might be suicidal.

The South Bend man reportedly was arrested at a local hospital early Thursday and booked into the county jail on suspicion of sexual misconduct with a minor. No charges had been filed at the time of his death.

According to the release, standard jail protocol requires that inmates taken from a hospital setting be placed into a medical observation cell for a minimum of 24 hours.

The case has been turned over to the Metro Homicide Unit for further investigation. ..Source.. by ERIN BLASKO

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