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Public Safety

Causes of Jail Inmates' In-Custody Deaths Released

The George Bailey Detention Facility in Otay Mesa is shown on July 21, 2015.
Megan Wood
The George Bailey Detention Facility in Otay Mesa is shown on July 21, 2015.

Authorities on Thursday released the causes of death of two inmates who were stricken and died this year in San Diego-area jails.

Louis Ahyule Gomez, a suspect in a rape case, was found unconscious in his cell at Vista Detention Facility on the morning of March 14, according to sheriff's officials. Medical staffers tried in vain to revive Gomez, 43, before pronouncing him dead at the scene, San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Thomas Seiver said.

An autopsy determined that Gomez died of pneumonia brought on by COVID-19, the lieutenant said.


Late on the afternoon of April 27, arson suspect Jonathan Robert Whitlock collapsed in his housing unit at George F. Bailey Detention Facility in Otay Mesa. Paramedics took the 35-year-old inmate to an outside hospital, where he died shortly after arrival.

Postmortem examinations determined that Whitlock succumbed to acute fentanyl intoxication, with obesity as a contributing factor, the lieutenant said. His death was ruled an accident.

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