An inmate recently died while in custody at the San Luis Obispo County Jail, the third such incident so far this year.
According to a Sheriff’s Department press release, Timothy Richard Janowicz was found unresponsive in his bunk at approximately 5:40 a.m. on May 30. He was booked into jail on Nov. 20, 2013. According to court records, Janowicz was found guilty of possession of a controlled substance for sale with a felony enhancement.
The death is under investigation, and the results of an autopsy hadn’t been released as of press time.
Janowicz’ stepmother, Janet Janowicz, said the family has been speaking with an attorney about the matter, but that they were awaiting the autopsy results. Janet told New Times that doctors removed a large portion of Tim’s stomach after he was shot in a hunting accident at the age of 16, though she didn’t know of any other medical conditions that could have contributed to his death. She said he developed an addiction to pain medication after his accident, which resulted in a long battle with drug addiction and, more recently, he had been homeless. Janet now lives with Timothy’s father in Oregon.
“We have no idea why this would have happened, and his father was just livid with the Sheriff’s Department when they called him,” she said.
This marks the third death of an inmate in about four months. Rudy Joseph Silva died of the H1N1 flu virus in January. About two months later, Josey Richard Meche was found unresponsive in his cell and later pronounced dead. Sheriff’s officials later determined his cause of death to be a methamphetamine-induced heart attack “with contributing factors of hyperthermia and a fatty infiltration of the heart muscle.”