Man dies in county jail

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

California fugitive victim of apparent suicide

A man being held in the Barry County jail on a smuggling warrant out of California is the victim of an apparent suicide that occurred Monday night.

Arnolfo Quintana-Morales, 58, of San Bernardino, Calif., was being held on a $5 million cash bond as a fugitive from out of state, wanted for allegedly smuggling drugs. Three inmates found Quintana-Morales at about 9:15 p.m. Monday after he used his pants in an apparent suicide.

"He went to court [Monday] and seemed to be OK," said Mick Epperly, Barry County sheriff. "The jailers were doing their hourly checks and passing out meds, and about 10-15 minutes after the check, one of the inmates found him and alerted the deputies."

Epperly said Quintana-Morales was alone in Pod B at the time of the incident, as the jail was not yet in lockdown and inmates were moving about. There was no note left at the scene.

"It's sad to announce this has happened, but some things can't be prevented," he said. "I commend the deputies, Mike Moore and Scott Salkill, for performing CPR until the first responders and ambulance came out from Shell Knob."

Epperly said there are no indications of foul play, and the three inmates that found Quintana-Morales have been interviewed. Quintana-Morales was transported to Fohn Funeral Home, and an autopsy was performed Tuesday afternoon in Springfield to make sure there was no foul play involved. Quintana-Morales's wife, who lives in New Mexico, has also been notified.

Quintana-Morales was arrested on Friday in a traffic stop and signed his waiver of extradition, t one picked up by California authorities, on Monday.

Epperly said it has been many years since a suicide has occurred in the jail, and while they are not common, the jailers deal with a lot of suicidal people.

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