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Hanging under investigation: 1987


Posted By: Volunteer: Sherri
Date: 8/28/2023 at 03:32:37

Daily Gate City
June 1987

Hanging under investigation

Daily Gate City Staff Writer

An investigation into the death of an inmate at the Lee County Correctional Center continues today.

Tamara Jean Davidson, 20, rural West Point, was found hanging in her cell about 9:55 p.m. Friday evening by a jail employee. CPR was started immediately and she was transferred to Fort Madison Community Hospital where she died about 11:27 p.m., a sheriff's department release said.

She was being held in the facility in lieu of ten percent of a $10,000 bond for second degree burglary, chief deputy Dave Ireland said today. She was arrested about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in connection with an alleged burglary at Fort Madison Community Hospital.

An investigation is being conducted by the sheriff's department, with an independent investigation also being conducted by the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation, Ireland said. "We have nothing to hide but asked for the investigation because of the seriousness of the incident," Ireland said. "We don't want there to be any questions," he added.

Davidson was discovered during a routine check, Ireland said. Iowa law requires that inmates be checked every hour from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and every 30 minutes from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., Ireland said. The checks are logged and the rule is strictly adhere to, he said.

Ireland said Davidson was kept in a cell separate from men prisoners and was the only woman in jail at the time. She gave no indication of suicidal inclinations, he added.

Lee County Coroner Dr. Eugenio Torres said he will conduct a medical examinors(sp) investigation but said his preliminary ruling is suicide by hanging.

Lee County Board of Supervisors chairman Rick Larkin said the supervisors work in cooperation with the sheriff's department and will probably ask for an explanation of the incident.

Ireland said it was the first time that such an incident had happened at the jail.

Source: "Scrapbook 1986 - 1988", Pg. 379,
Keosauqua Public Library, Keosauqua, Van Buren Co., IA


Van Buren Documents maintained by Rich Lowe.
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