Exeter inmate dies in Barry County Jail

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A 38-year-old inmate died Sept. 16 after falling ill at the Barry County Jail.

According to Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly, Manuel A. Flores, of Exeter, was pronounced dead at St. John's Hospital-Cassville after ambulance crews were called to the jail and he was rushed to the nearby hospital.

The sheriff said Flores had been suffering from flu-like symptoms, including vomiting, since the night of Sept. 15.

"Our jailers were monitoring him and asked him if he wanted to be taken to the hospital," said Epperly. "He indicated he wanted to stay in his cell."

Sometime during that night, Flores' wife called 911 to report that her husband was sick.

"911 called us, and the jailers checked on him again," said Epperly. "They checked on him several times during the night and he was asleep in his cell."

On the morning of Sept. 16, jailers got Flores up because he had a court appearance scheduled that day.

"He started down the stairs and threw up," said Epperly. "He sat on the steps for awhile, maybe 10 to 15 minutes, and then went back up. When he got to the top of the stairs, he threw up again and he died right there."

An autopsy was performed on Sept. 17. Detective Brian Martin attended the autopsy and reported that preliminary results indicate that Flores died from an inflammation of the heart.

"Further studies, such as toxicology, are being done," said Epperly. "The Highway Patrol is also investigating the death. A full investigation is being conducted."

According to Epperly, Flores had been an inmate at the Barry County Jail for about a month. He was charged with second degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. An immigration hold had also been filed against him.

Flores was employed at Tyson Foods in Berryville, Ark., for 12 years. His full obituary appears in this week's Cassville Democrat.

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