Local USVI News

Detainee Dies at Prison in St. Thomas From What B.O.C. Says Was ‘Life-Threatening Illness’; Investigation Underway

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ST. THOMAS — The V.I. Bureau of Corrections announced Monday that a detainee at the Alexander A. Farrelly Criminal Justice Center in St. Thomas was pronounced dead by Emergency Medical Services technicians at approximately 4:20 a.m. this morning.

B.O.C. said the deceased was identified as a 36-year-old male detainee, who came into BOC custody with a life-threatening illness. The bureau did not reveal the illness that led to the detainee’s death.

“There were no obvious signs of foul play,” B.O.C. said. “The Bureau’s medical and security staff called 911 when the detainee began showing signs of distress.”

According to the release, B.O.C. policies require an internal, administrative investigation whenever any inmate or detainee dies in custody. “That internal investigation is underway. The Virgin Islands Police Department also has been notified of the detainee’s death,” stated the release.

B.O.C. said it has notified the detainee’s next of kin. As per protocol, B.O.C. said it now awaits an autopsy by the V.I. Department of Justice’s Medical Examiner’s Office.

“We are deeply brokenhearted for our detainee’s family and loved ones, and we wish to express our deepest condolences amid the pain of sharing this news”, said B.O.C. Director Wynnie Testamark. “Our medical and custody staff are all saddened by his passing, as losing an individual entrusted to our care is never easy.”

B.O.C. said that the Alexander A. Farrelly Criminal Justice Center is on a modified lockdown with strict adherence to the Covid-19 protocols. In-person visits, work details, and prisoner furloughs remain suspended, as they have been since the start of the pandemic, according to the release. Court hearings held virtually remain unaffected. Attorneys may visit with prisoners via secure video conference by contacting the facility to schedule a video visit.

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