Ford County Jail Inmate Dies, Autopsy Inconclusive

PAXTON — The Ford County Coroner’s office is investigating the death of an inmate found dead in his cell at the Ford County Jail in Paxton early Wednesday.

Coroner Doug Wallace reports correctional officers found 30-year-old Richard Gonzales of Hoopeston dead in his cell around 4 am.  Wallace said it appears to have been a medical issue, but the cause of death remains undetermined.

The cause of death will remain undetermined until toxicology results and medical records from the jail’s medical personnel are reviewed..

Earlier Wednesday, Sheriff  Mark Doran said in his news release that Gonzalez had been evaluated by medical staff, but he did not say for what. Doran said no foul play is suspected.

Wallace said suicide has been ruled out.

An investigation is ongoing by the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Ford County coroner’s office.

Gonzalez had been sentenced on May 14 to four years in prison for stealing $3,000 from a Paxton bank through a fraudulent ATM transaction.  The inmate was awaiting transfer to the Department of Corrections.


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