Inmate found dead at St. Louis jail

2012-05-25T13:43:00Z 2012-07-18T10:17:32Z Inmate found dead at St. Louis jailBY CHRISTINE BYERS • > 314-340-8087

Updated 3:20 p.m. with man's identity

ST. LOUIS • Police and city officials are investigating the death of a 62-year-old inmate, who was found dead in his cell at midnight.

Correctional officers conducting routine rounds at the facility along Hall Street found the inmate, Willie H. Woodberry of the 5300 block of N. Euclid, unresponsive in his cell.

He was being held on charges of possession of narcotics and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia, according to the city's Public Safety Director, Eddie Roth.

He was arrested on May 9, processed into the Justice Center on May 10 and transferred to the Hall Street medium security facility on May 15. He had been moved to his own cell earlier Thursday.

He was seen by jail staff at about 8:30 p.m., 10:55 p.m. and again at approximately 11:30 p.m. yesterday, Roth said.

The coroner's office arrived at 1:27 a.m., and interviewed correctional staff, including the medical unit physician.

"With the help of the police, medical examiner and corrections staff, we will nail down all of the facts contributing to this death," Roth said in a prepared statement.

Roth said foul play and suicide have not been brought to his attention as a cause for his death, but that he could not discuss the man's medical history citing federal health privacy laws.

The city spends about $7 million annually to provide health care to its confined population, Roth said.

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