SEATTLE — Officials are investigating after a woman died while in custody at the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle on Tuesday.
According to the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, the 58-year-old woman was found unresponsive in her cell at about 6 a.m.
When officers found her, she had no apparent injuries or obvious cause of death. She was last observed awake in her cell about an hour earlier and was the only person inside the cell, according to the DAJD.
The woman was booked into custody on March 17 on a burglary charge out of Seattle.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause and manner of death.
As is standard for jail-related deaths, the DAJD will work with Public Health – Seattle & King County to conduct an internal investigation. It has also requested an independent investigation by the Seattle Police Department.
Washington state jails and prisons are required by state law to review all “unexpected” in-custody fatalities and publish a report on the findings within 120 days of the death. These reports are published online by the state Department of Health and the DAJD.
Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington sued the county and King County Executive Dow Constantine over unsafe conditions in the King County Jail.
The organization’s lawsuit alleges that the suicide rate in the jail is eight times the national average and claims staffing issues are to blame for the unsafe conditions.
There were six unexpected in-custody deaths in the county last year, according to the DAJD.
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