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Woman dies after being found ‘unresponsive’ in Las Colinas jail cell

A 25-year-old North County woman was found dead in her San Diego County Jail cell early Tuesday, becoming the 12th person to die in the county this year.

Vianna Granillo, whose death was announced by the Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday, had been arrested by deputies Friday before being booked into the Las Colinas Women’s Jail in Santee.

Her death, which remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Department’s homicide unit and the civilian oversight board, adds to a local jail death rate that is already the highest in California and at a record pace this year.

Granillo was released from sheriff’s custody shortly before she died, the department noted. Officially releasing people from custody prior to serious illness or pending death has become a common sheriff’s department practice in recent years.

The death is also the second this month of a young woman in Las Colinas.

Erica Wahlberg died July 2 after showing signs of medical distress hours after being arrested on an outstanding drug warrant, sheriff’s officials said. The case also remains under investigation.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, Granillo was found unresponsive in her cell during a routine security check at approximately 2 a.m. Tuesday. According to information, she was arrested last Friday on suspicion of violating a court order.

“Multiple doses of Naloxone were administered by deputies and medical personnel,” the sheriff’s press release said. “They also started lifesaving measures. Paramedics arrived and transported Miss Granillo to a hospital for further treatment.”

Officials said that despite continued treatment at an unspecified hospital, Granillo’s health deteriorated and she was pronounced dead at about 3 a.m. Wednesday.

“The cause and manner of death remains under investigation,” the Sheriff’s Department said. “The coroner’s office has been notified of the death. The autopsy is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, July 14.”

Naloxone is a brand-name drug designed to treat the effects of an opioid overdose. The department recently began making the drug more widely available in prisons in an effort to reduce deaths.

No one from Granillo’s family could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Granillo — who had most recently lived in Escondido, according to public databases — had multiple criminal cases filed against her, court records show. The prosecutor’s office was not immediately able to provide details on the charges.

For many years, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has struggled to keep the people it has arrested and jailed safe and sound.

A report earlier this year by the California State Auditor, prompted in part by a 2019 investigation published by the San Diego Union-Tribune, found that 185 people died in local jails between 2006 and 2020.

Thirty men and women have died in local jails since January 2021, a period of just over 18 months.

The state auditor said conditions were so dangerous in San Diego County jails that new legislation was needed to reform the facilities. Longtime Sheriff Bill Gore retired mid-term on the same day the report was released.

The Union-Tribune report “Dying Behind Bars” analyzed state mortality data to confirm that San Diego County had the highest death rate in its jails among California’s most populous counties.

The six-month investigation also chronicled a series of harrowing complaints from inmates who survived custody and from relatives of people who died in Sheriff’s Department jails, including as a result of fatal deficiencies in medical and mental health care.

He also noted that the county has spent millions of tax dollars to pay jury awards and legal settlements to families of people who died in custody — a practice that has continued in recent years.

Gore, who declined multiple interview requests during the months of the investigation, disputed the findings publicly as soon as they were published, saying they were based on misleading data.

In that research, the Union-Tribune relied on reporting data that has been standardized across the state and the nation to account for county-to-county anomalies. Sheriff’s officials were similarly critical of the state audit’s findings.

Department officials have worked to improve conditions inside the county jail system, which before the COVID-19 pandemic housed about 5,500 people. As of Wednesday, the jail population was 4,016, a department website said.

Officials have adopted new screening practices aimed at identifying inmates who may be vulnerable to drug abuse or withdrawal symptoms and are working to hire more nurses and other medical staff.

“Each death is a tragedy and the Sheriff’s Department sympathizes with Ms. Granillo’s family and loved ones,” the department said. “A family liaison officer has been appointed and the family have been informed of her death.”

Both the internal investigation and the review by the Citizens Law Enforcement Review Commission are expected to take months to complete.

Last year was the deadliest year in the San Diego County Jail in decades, with 18 people dying in the sheriff’s custody in 2021. The department remains on track to surpass that total this year.

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Woman dies after being found ‘unresponsive’ in Las Colinas jail cell Source link Woman dies after being found ‘unresponsive’ in Las Colinas jail cell

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