Department of Justice lab to investigate jail suspect's cause of death

By The Leader Staff
Department of Justice lab to investigate jail suspect's cause of death

Evidence taken from a 52-year-old suspect, arrested earlier by Kings County deputies, was sent to the Department of Justice Laboratory for forensic analysis after the suspect died, despite lifesaving efforts by fire personnel, EMS, and detention deputies.

A Kings County Deputy Sheriff, on Tuesday, February 14, at about 1:30 a.m., made a traffic enforcement stop on Highway 41 in rural Kings County. The deputy contacted the female driver and a passenger, later identified as Rudolph De La Vega, 52.

A records check revealed four active warrants issued for De La Vega’s arrest.

Charges included domestic violence and being under the influence of a controlled substance with a $65,000 bail. 

The deputy arrested De La Vega, transported him, and then booked him into the Kings County Jail. Jail records indicate that a registered nurse evaluated the suspect at 2:30 a.m. and noted that he was walking, talking, and had stable vitals. However, De La Vega refused to answer further questions from the medical staff, and he was placed unrestrained into a nearby observation cell. 

A Kings County Detentions deputy noticed De La Vega sweating profusely and appeared to require medical assistance during a routine check. The deputy immediately called jail medical staff to evaluate De La Vega.

The same registered nurse, who evaluated De La Vega upon his arrival at the jail, noted that he was diaphoretic (sweating profusely), hallucinating, and talking to the walls.

According to the sheriff’s department report, the nurse immediately requested jail staff call 9-1-1 for Emergency Medical Services. 

American Ambulance paramedics noted upon their arrival that De La Vega resisted law enforcement and would not walk to the gurney. He struggled, and his hands and feet were cuffed. The patient was moved out of the cell and rolled onto a medical transport flat board, and it was noted that he was no longer struggling. Emergency medical technicians reported that De La Vega was breathing, and he had a pulse, but shortly after that, they noticed agonal breath and a carotid pulse was absent.

Fire personnel, EMS, and detention deputies administered CPR and other lifesaving efforts for approximately 20-minutes. Unfortunately, De La Vega was pronounced deceased despite the immediate resuscitation efforts.    

Morgue officials conducted an autopsy.  

The pathologist discovered a small, ruptured, black plastic bag within the contents of his stomach. During a preliminary presumptive test on the remaining contents found within the bag, Morgue officials showed positive for Methamphetamine. A presumptive urinalysis conducted on De La Vega showed positive for Methamphetamine and PCP.

The bag and the contents were seized as evidence and sent to the Department of Justice Laboratory for further forensic analysis. The official cause of death has not been determined pending toxicology results.

Comments powered by Disqus