Both the Department of Corrections and Department of Public Safety were mum yesterday about the case of an inmate who was found dead at the prison last Monday but a Saipan Tribune source affirmed unofficial reports that the inmate had hung himself.
DPS spokesperson Adrian Pangelinan also declined to disclose the inmate’s identity but the Saipan Tribune source said the inmate was a 28-year-old Chuukese male with an alleged history of burglary. Due to the nature of the victim’s death, Saipan Tribune is choosing not to disclose his name.
Saipan Tribune also learned that medics of the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services medics at the scene had said that the victim was already showing signs of rigor mortis—the stiffening of the body—when found.
In declining to identify the inmate, Pangelinan said the police investigation is ongoing and that DPS has already issued a next-of-kin notification.
The inmate was found unresponsive inside his cell Monday afternoon when a Corrections officer was serving him lunch. The officer called out the inmate’s name, but there was no response. The officer found the unresponsive victim inside his cell, the on-duty controller was notified, and 911 was called.
DFEMS medics reportedly assessed the scene, but were held back as DPS-Crime Scene Investigation was clearing the area and conducting assessments on the inmate’s cell before his body could be transported to the Commonwealth Health Center.
The inmate was pronounced dead by Dr. Rodney Classens at 1:32pm Tuesday.
Saipan Tribune learned that the inmate had been arrested for assault and battery, criminal mischief, and disturbing the peace in 2015 and was then placed in probation for a year. The inmate was arrested again last March for stealing in iPhone X.