ICE Detainee Hangs Himself In California Jail Cell

The Nicaraguan man had no criminal history in the United States, officials said

Mar 29, 2017 at 2:13 PM ET

A Nicaraguan national being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in California died on Tuesday from injuries he sustained from an attempted suicide six days before, federal authorities said.

Osmar Epifanio Gonzalez-Gadba was found hanging from his neck inside his cell at the Adelanto Detention Facility on March 22 by an employee doing a routine evening check, ICE said in a published statement. The 32-year-old was rushed to a nearby hospital, but died after nearly a week on life support. The preliminary cause of his death is heart failure caused from the earlier asphyxiation.

Immigration officials said that Gonzalez-Gadba was in a cell by himself and had exhibited no prior signs of being suicidal.

The Nicaraguan man had been in ICE custody since December 2016, following his arrest by U.S. Border Patrol agents near San Diego. Homeland Security records show that he had been previously been deported to Nicaragua in April 2016. Aside from the pair of immigration-related arrests, Gonzalez-Gadba had no criminal record in the U.S., Virginia Kice, an ICE spokeswoman, told Vocativ.

Gonzalez-Gadba is the fifth detainee to die while in ICE custody in the last year, the agency said.

ICE officials said they have been unsuccessful in locating Gonzalez-Gadba’s family members and that he received no visitors while he was in custody. A representative from the Nicaraguan consulate in Los Angeles was unable to provide additional details to Vocativ on Wednesday.

Adelanto is a for-profit prison and holds close to 2,000 detainees. Operated by the CEO group, the nation’s second-largest private prison company, the detention center has faced accusations by the ACLU and other groups of providing substandard medical care. A 2015 report by Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement claimed that immigrant detainees at Adelanto faced “extreme abuse.”